Mother of 11 Sokorey Hassan proudly holds her new-born son as she waits to be discharged from the Dollow District Health Referral Centre in Gedo Region, southwest Somalia.
The 38-year-old, who lives in Kabasa, one of the biggest internally displaced camps in Dollow District, is relieved to be going home with a healthy baby after what was a traumatic birth.
Sokorey’s first ten children were born at home and with no complications under the care of a traditional birth attendant. But her latest pregnancy did not go smoothly.
Eight months into the pregnancy she had vaginal bleeding and was advised by female community health influencers to go to the Dollow Referral Health Centre, run by Trócaire, to be assessed.
Sokorey did not have the money for transport so was taken by a Trocaire ambulance to the centre where she had an ultrasound and was admitted to the maternity unit and monitored for one week. The bleeding stopped, and Sokorey was discharged but advised to come back for check-ups and to have a caesarean section when her pregnancy reached full term.
However Sokorey, who was determined to have a home delivery, did not return.
She started bleeding heavily at home and was taken back by ambulance to Dollow Referral Health Centre. On admission, she was cold, gasping for air and showing signs of respiratory failure. Her unborn baby’s foetal heart rate was weak.
Sokorey was given four units of blood and taken to the operating room for an emergency caesarean to save her life and that of her babies.
Her son was born weighing four kilograms, but he had to be immediately resuscitated and given oxygen. Sokorey was given two more units of blood and antibiotics and placed under observation.
Mother and baby were discharged after a week. Her son was immunised and Sokorey was given nutrition advice and encouraged to breastfeed.