Helping causes happiness

Today I let our volunteer Dr. Uwe Hasenpusch have a say. He tells you what we experienced on one of our rescue flights! Our contribution was the medical actions; the flight was organized and financed by MAF.
Madagascar needs our help! And that in the form of equipment and training!
Join us when we change the face of the world together!

                                                                                                             Your Tanja

From Dr Uwe:

I've been a gynecological volunteer with Tanja in Ambovo for a week.

Last Saturday, MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) asked us if we could take on an obstetric emergency in the bush. Mother and child were alive, but the baby being born had not come out since the previous day. We assembled a team and headed to the airport. We had packed everything for a caesarean section and any emergency being faced by the child.

Since the woman still had to be brought through the bush to the airstrip for another 4 hours, we would probably arrive at the same time.

Before starting, Tanja again inquired about the status of the emergency - the child and mother were still alive. So off to the plane and our pilot Ryan brought us safely to Sahakevo in just over an hour, and with a spectacular landing. It would have taken us 3 days by land.

A large crowd of villagers with children stood in line and greeted us. The pregnant woman had been placed in the shade of a tree. There we found out that the woman, Clarisse, had been in labor since Sunday and the child's head had been visible since Tuesday - and we came on Saturday!

Tanja examined the woman and we decided to extract the child with a suction cup (Kiwi). Despite Kristeller's help from the anesthetist and I, we were unable to bring the child into the world. So I decided to attempt a cesarean section. Since all the villagers were watching us and no house nearby had a table, we went to the health station in the village. The advertised 25 minute walk turned out to take an hour, and included crossing a river in a dugout canoe.

Luckily the villagers carried our equipment and we arrived at dusk - not quite fresh anymore.

Due to the hygienic and dark (no light) conditions in the treatment room, we decided to carry out the surgery outside in the exit area of the house.
Our anesthesiologist made it possible for us to carry out the operation under spinal anesthesia despite the difficult circumstances.
Equipped with two headlamps, we started the caesarean section on Clarisse, who was completely exhausted, in order to save her life.

As we expected, we still brought forth a big boy. We estimated that he may have died only 24 hours earlier. Clarisse was no longer able to even ask about her baby. During the surgery, she got worse and worse. 

Tanja had wisely taken 2 transfusion sets and several bedside tests with her, so we were able to do a transfusion with the blood of Marlies, our Dutch midwife. Only then did Clarisse feel much better, so that we were able to complete the operation.

After we had put Clarisse to bed, the town's anesthetist who had traveled with us invited us to dinner, or, rather, his parents invited us. A festively set table with chicken and fish and of course rice awaited us in a small wooden house. Then we were once again invited to dinner by the community leader.

We were able to spend the night in a beautiful house, where a family must have made room for us.

The morning visit to Clarisse showed us a woman who had been in labor for a week, lost her child and underwent a cesarean section. But Clarisse survived it all and will hopefully have the blessing of having a healthy child in the future.

Clarisse smiled at us and we were happy.

A nurse from the health station took over further treatment. At least we hope so, because she hadn't even touched or examined the patient the whole night!

After a leisurely breakfast we left the village and returned to the airstrip. Ryan got us airborne (with an even more spectacular take off than the landing) and safely back to Tana .

That was an impressive experience, which still affects me emotionally and I will certainly tell my grandchildren.

Kind regards, 

Dr.  Uwe

Best regards!

Your Tanja

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