Midwife Emergency Skills Training Saving Lives in Tanzania

On the night of September 2, 2017, nurse-midwife Razack Mohammed was alone on duty at the Mwalugulu Dispensary in Kahama District, Tanzania when Gaudensia Peter arrived in labour with undiagnosed twins. After a normal delivery of the first twin, the second baby was presenting in a way that could not be born without help. According to his scope of practice, Razack was required to transfer Gaudensia to the hospital. However, that night it was impossible: when he called the transport officer to arrange the transfer, Razack learned that the ambulance was at the garage for servicing. Razack had no choice but to assist Gaudensia himself. Fortunately, Razack had just taken the Midwife Emergency Skills Training (MEST) being carried out as part of the Midwives Save Lives (MSL) project in the Shinyanga Region of Tanzania in August.
Recalling the clinical skills and knowledge he learned at the MEST, he was able to maneuver the baby into a safe position and conduct a breech delivery. The long and difficult birth meant that the second twin required resuscitation, which he was able to provide thanks to his MEST training. Razack also recalled that he needed to actively manage the third stage of labour to prevent a haemorrhage as the mother was at high risk of this major cause of maternal mortality. Thanks to the MSL project and the MEST, Razack used many life-saving skills to help Gaudensia and her two babies that night.