Elizabeth has actively delivered close to 4,000 babies since her CSBA training in 2013. A woman of discipline, she said that she routinely charges her solar light in the sun and keeps it with her at all times. When we spoke with her, she mentioned that the electricity had been intermittently going off and on in the community clinic for the past three days, re-emphasizing the importance of keeping the Luke Light with her at all times. If electricity is only available sporadically, then a back up option becomes a necessity.
Elizabeth recounted several experiences where the solar light proved to be a crucial help in birth delivery situations. In one such instance, she had to travel at night to the small village of Jagirpara, about three kilometers away from the clinic. This village is absolutely devoid of electricity and the locals depend on kerosene lamps for light.
With only her solar light in hand, she scurried along the wet, uneven village path for 45 minutes seeking to assist a woman in need. Upon arrival, she found that the family did not even have the means to afford a kerosene lamp and the woman in labour was in desperate need of attention. She used the solar light to carefully attend to the woman. Within a short time, a healthy newborn baby was delivered to the new parents; joyous and with tears in their eyes. They gave their heartfelt appreciation to Elizabeth for her critical and timely help and said how they would be forever indebted to her.
“The solar light has become one of the most important tools...in my bag”, said Elizabeth. It is a tool that gives her confidence knowing she can respond at any time, day or night, and it has significantly helped in times where light sources are scarce or electricity is non-existent. This woman’s story shows how a small tool can have a substantial impact in providing much needed maternal and newborn care in rural areas of Bangladesh. It is also a testament to the skill and care of Elizabeth and the other Child Safe Birth Attendants in Bangladesh. Their tireless efforts are saving lives.