Harisu SamataProject Fives Alive! of GhanaIn the second week of September 2009, around 8:45 pm, Esther Azure, the midwife at the Mole clinic in the Mole Game Reserve, received a call from Larabanga that a woman was in labor - and in trouble. Esther asked the caller to bring the woman to the clinic, but was told that the woman could not sit on a motorbike as the baby was already coming out.
At night, the road is dangerous because of the animals and poor visibility; but Esther set out on her motorbike for the woman's home. She says, "I had no choice. I knew I had to save her life."
When she arrived, she saw that it was a breech birth: The baby's lower limbs had come out, but the head and upper limbs were still inside. Esther delivered the baby but had to quickly resuscitate him. "I cut the top off a water bottle to create a makeshift mask and then used a thin piece of foam as protection from infection. Then I could blow air into the baby's nose and mouth."
After resuscitating the baby, Esther realized that the mother was bleeding. She gave her oxytocin before delivering the placenta. She then massaged the uterus.
Esther remained at Harisu's home for an hour and a half to monitor both mother and baby. Shortly after midnight, after telling the family that they should call her in case anything changed, Esther got on her motorbike for the ride back to Mole.
Stories of Mothers Saved This story is one of many collected in an initiative organized jointly by the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood ® (WRA) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). WRA members from around the world shared these individual stories of women who have lived to tell their stories - who did not die needlessly in pregnancy or childbirth - due to a key action taken by her, her family, the community, a health worker, a political leader or others.