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Find out more about Zawadi

I was asking her if she thought it would a boy or a girl and she said she didn't mind - she was just happy to be having a healthy baby.–Sam Perkins, 29, midwife, Democratic Republic of Congo


Zawadi's amazing story

Zawadi is comforted by Sam in the MSF ambulance. Photo by Yasuyoshi Chiba

Learn more about what Zawadi went through

  Zawadi could have ruptured her uterus, developed a fistula, or even died.

Before transferring Zawadi to the MSF hospital Sam acted to stabilise her condition. For example, she put in a urinary catheter to help prevent fistula and started IV fluids. She also monitored the baby’s heart rate, which before the ambulance journey was still normal.


"The state of the roads meant a very painful journey for Zawadi"

“Zawadi was fully dilated, and according to the partogram, which is the graph used to plot the progress of labour, she had been all night. The baby’s head was in a difficult position with a lot of swelling. The risk for the baby was foetal distress and stillbirth. The risk for Zawadi was a ruptured uterus, an obstetric fistula, or even death,” says Sam

  • > In 2010, 789 women had complicated pregnancies
  • > 30 women suffered uterine ruptures
  • > Many women rely on MSF ambulances, the only other option is to walk

The hard work of Sam and her team meant that Zawadi left Masisi carrying her healthy baby girl. Without MSF's presence, many women like Zawadi might have lost their babies and many husbands might have lost their wives.

MSF aids and volunteers providing humanitarian medical assistance

Meet other British volunteers working with MSF

“MSF operates in 65 countries and has over 27,000 staff"

There are many volunteers and employees like Sam working for MSF in 65 countries throughout the world – from doctors and nurses to administrators, laboratory technicians and mental health professionals.

Sam's work overview


Zawadi's age


hours she was in labour


hours Zawadi walked during her labour to get to the clinic


hours in the ambulance to Masisi Hospital


this is Zawadi's first baby


days Zawadi spent recovering in the hospital following her caesarean

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