Sunday, February 07, 2010

A prayer for little Abdoul-Nassr

This past week one of our guards (Mohammed) had a new baby boy. Well actually it was his wife who did all the work, but you know what I mean!

Normally in the maternity wards here in Niger you are in and out in the same day! However, the mother started to have problems with excessive bleeding and blood pressure. So they have kept her in the hospital. Her milk also came in very late and is still in insufficient quantities. Please pray she would make a full recovery and her milk supply would be strong. Breastfeeding is so important here for the health of newborns- there really are no alternatives here that they could afford. She did not want her picture taken in the Maternity, and I can’t say I blame her. I didn’t exactly want my picture taken after giving birth either! haha!

But we did take some pictures of her new little boy Abdoul-Nassr. I am not quite sure if this is the spelling they are using, but it is one I have seen and I will guess at it for now.


The maternity ward in itself was a sight to behold. I was quite surprised that the buildings looked fairly new and were in good repair. This is after all the National main maternity ward. The rooms were quite small and there were two people to a room. About the same size as small hospital rooms in Canada actually. However, the difference was in the care. You see, it is not a team of nurses or doctors that actually take care of the women except for their brief daily visit. It is their families. If they need medicine- they get a prescription and the family must go to the pharmacy and buy it. If the families do not bring food, they often won’t eat. Mohammed even slept outside the maternity ward on a pad at night so that if his wife needed anything, an orderly would come get him and he would be the one to take care of her. So when we went into the room with his wife and one other woman, we were not all the surprised to see the room was full. With the visitors we had brought with us who wanted to see her and the baby, we were 17 people in that tiny room at one point. The families of both women had brought water, bowls of food and other items. The bed linens looked unclean and the walls and floors clearly hadn’t been washed in a while. Part of me really wanted to pull out a wide angle lens and take a shot of all the women crammed into such a tiny dirty space that was a “hospital” room. But I didn’t so you will just have to imagine it.

Abdoul-Nassr was getting stronger that day (only a few days ago) and in spite of the fact that his mother had very little milk, he seemed to be getting by. If I understand the Tamasheq right, one lady was saying that another woman who had lots of milk would help those who didn’t. I guess that is sort of like our old school wet nurses right? Whatever it takes folks!


This morning I spoke with Mohammed and he said that his wife was getting better. He also said that now the baby was sick. He told me, that this one week old little baby – had MALARIA. I didn’t even know this was possible?? Please pray for the health of this child. That such a fragile body would fight the malaria or whatever it is and be strong. 1 in every 5 children in Niger die before they reach the age of 5. Pray with us that Abdoul-Nassr will not be one of those statistics!!

We will keep you updated.

Paul, Mohammed and Abdoul-Nassr



Mom McIver said...

Please give our warm greetings and congratulations to Mohammed and his wife. They have a beautiful son and have chosen a strong name which means "faithful or enduring servant". Our prayer is that God will touch his little body now, so he will grow to be strong and that one day he will faithfully serve the true God of Creation among his own people. We hope to one day see this little boy with our own eyes. Mom Mc

Suzanne said...

We are certainly praying for this family! Thanks for sharing and know also that our great Lord is watching and right beside you as you care for these, His people also. God Bless! Suzanne

Anonymous said...

Claiming good health and strength for this little man - and nourishing milk from his mumma. Thank you Lord. heather