A Surprising Way One Organization Is Saving Lives in The Gambia

Impatient Optimists

This is the second in a series of blogs that profile winners of the Resolve Award, given by the Aspen Institute Global Leadership Council for Reproductive Health. The Resolve Award celebrates innovative efforts to expand access to family planning and reproductive health services.

When Majai Ceesay gave birth to twins in June, 2012, it was a difficult labor. Delivering the first twin drained her strength; dehydrated and in pain, she was too weak to push for the second birth. She feared for the worst: in Kanikunda, the remote Gambian village where Ceesay lives, a difficult delivery has often been a death sentence.

But Ceesay was in luck. Sheriff Darbo, a community health nurse, travelled to Kanikunda by motorcycle to attend Ceesay's birth. He administered oral rehydration solution and sugar to boost her energy, as well as medication to relieve the pain. With that intervention, Ceesay regained strength and her contractions became powerful. Two hours later the second boy was born alive.