The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Ghana, has honoured Ms. Sophia Safia Sulemana, a midwife at the Kunkwa Health Centre in the Mamprugu Moaduri District of the Northern Region, who delivered a pregnant woman of a baby while on board an Accra-Bolgatanga bus.
Ms. Sulemana who was part of the new inductees of the N&MC that were inducted into the health profession on Monday in Accra, was said to have delivered the pregnant woman of a baby boy at 3:00 am while on board the bus on Sunday, September 23, 2018.
She was said to have used improvised polythene bags as gloves to receive the baby, got a blade from a passenger to cut the umbilical cord of the baby, and pulled out a string from a sack to tie the cord.
“The news of her professional display got to our attention through social media. Upon further enquiries, we established the veracity of the story and invited her to our head office in Accra to officially commend her,” the N&MC said in a release issued and copied to the GNA in Accra.
According to the release, the work of a midwife required dedication and experience and that was exactly what Ms Sulemana exhibited when she helped “the panic-stricken mum to keep calm, before catching the newborn child in her arms.”
The Council also commended the entire passengers on board the bus and the two other women who assisted Ms Sulemana to help the woman deliver the baby boy.
Narrating the incident at the induction ceremony amidst applause from those gathered, Ms. Sulemana indicated that there was pregnant woman in the bus she boarded on Saturday 22 September 2018 going to Tamale for antenatal care on that fateful Saturday.
She said half way through the journey, a passenger who was sitting next to the pregnant woman and knew that she was a midwife informed her that the pregnant woman was in pain.
“I quickly moved to where the woman was and demanded her antenatal card and realized her gestational age was almost 38 weeks. Her ultra sound report indicated that she was expected to deliver on October 1, 2018''
She noted that, she did not want to monitor labour on the bus so she asked the driver to speed up so that they could get to a nearby health facility.
“However, after monitoring her for some time, she started shouting in pain and I immediately asked the driver to stop. At that time, we were on the Buipe-Fufulso road. The whole place was dark, bushy and very risky.”
She asked the passengers to grant her some privacy, and then spread a cloth on the floor and put the woman on it.
It was there that she realized the baby's head was coming out of the vaginal opening. She got assistance from two other women on board the bus.
“I quickly asked for polythene, which I used as gloves because I had none on me. After l delivered the baby, which was a bouncy baby boy, the baby cried and that was my greatest joy because when a baby is delivered and he doesn't cry, something might have gone wrong,” Ms Suleman recounted.
The next hurdle was to separate the baby from the mother by cutting off the umbilical cord; she used a new blade to cut off the cord.
“As there was no cord clump, I needed to improvise by using a thread to tie the umbilical cord to prevent it from bleeding. I pulled off one string from a sack and tied it. I cleaned up the baby and gave him to one of the passengers to hold him while I concentrated on the mother to deliver the placenta.”
“I delivered the placenta through control cord traction, then massaged the uterus through the abdomen to help the uterus to contract and stop bleeding. I then cleaned up the mother and handed over the baby to her to be breastfeed. Immediately we were done, the bus moved to Tamale where the mother and baby were handed over to the husband and nurses from the West Hospital in Tamale to be given proper medical care.”
Mr. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, the Health Minister who was full of praise for Ms Sulemana said: “had it not been her intervention the story might have been different”
He later presented a motorbike, a hospital kit and a citation of honour, on behalf of the Ghana Health Service and the N&MC to Ms. Sulemana for her timely intervention in the situation.
Meanwhile, over 5,000 nurses, nurse assistants and midwives who sat for the Nursing Examination, passed and qualified in 2017, were inducted into the nursing profession.
The inductees represented newly qualified health professionals from the Southern zone 'A' comprising the cluster of schools from the Volta, Eastern and the Greater Accra Regions.
They form the first batch of the over 22,000 inductees to be inducted by the N&MC this November from all over the country.
Dan Soko is a short story author and web content editor. He has work appearing or forthcoming in over a dozen venues, including GhanaScoop, Nigeria Daily News and CapitalBay. When he’s not frightening strangers with his post and writing, he’s most likely frightening his wife Mimi and their two mischievous cats: Buttons and Snaps. You can visit him at www.ghananation.com/author/webby.