A Zambian soldier has been lauded across the country for aiding an expectant woman deliver her baby.
Following this act, Lance Corporal Humphrey Mangisani was promoted to full corporal.
The soldier had organised for a motorbike to take the mother to hospital as he followed on his own bike but unexpectedly, the lady went into labour on the way.
“I had to help her in a maize field while it rained,” Corp Mangisani said. He reported having found a razor blade to cut the umbilical cord.
“I risked my work by being absent from camp to help her,” the corporal informed Zambia Reports.
The soldier reported taking the baby to hospital.
Speaking to the media outlet, Corp Mangisani disclosed that he was trained to take risks and he took one helping the woman in the eastern district of Petauke. In honour of his effort, he was urged to name the baby and he named him Raymond Tembo.
The soldier’s army commander said his actions would alter the popular perceptions of soldiers. Instead of being seen as someone who would cause harm, Brig Gen Kelvin Kanguma said Corp Mangisani had shown “that a soldier is someone who can help”.
Every week, over 100 new-born babies die in Zambia following errors and omissions during delivery, according to the country’s health minister Sylvia Masebo.
Part of the reasons for this is that many women in labour arrive at health facilities late after attempting home deliveries following the long distances to health centres, particularly in rural areas.
Lack of adequate qualified health professionals is another factor.