Red Crescent hospital in Jordan's desert welcomes its first baby

Published: 11 November 2014 17:31 CET

By Jaana Laine, Finnish Red Cross

On Thursday 30 October in Azraq, Jordan, the Red Cross Red Crescent Hospital had a great day. The maternity ward opened and the hospital’s first baby took her first breath and opened her eyes.

Piece-by-piece, the hospital has been built, equipped and opened. Syrian refugees, health care volunteers, and all the hospital staff have been waiting for this day for a long time. With the maternity unit finished, staff and ready to go, it was not long before the first birth was bound to happen.

Hadeel, 20, came to the hospital on the morning of 30 October. She had not felt many of the delivery signs. Of course,  she was excited and also a little bit afraid of this new situation. Luckily, Samih, a doctor, and midwife Feeda, were at hand to provide reassurance and a professional service to Hadeel. The doctor is experienced as an obstetrician and made an ultrasound which confirmed that the baby was on its way.

When the little baby girl was born, parents, grandmother and all the hospital staff were so happy. Grandmother gave kisses all round and her face was shining with joy. All the Syrians and Jordanians, Red Cross delegates from Finland, Canada, Norway and Germany shared the happiness of receiving the new  baby.

After this special baby, four more babies were born during the next three days. The hospital will provide much needed maternity support for hundreds of women in the most vulnerable situation. Hadeel's new daughter was the first, but the situation in the region means she is likely to be the first of many to be born away from home. With the opening of the hospital, these children now at least have a place to emerge into the world in safety.

The Azraq hospital for Syrian refugees is supported by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), and the governments of Canada and Italy. It is operated by staff from the Canadian, Finnish, German and Norwegian Red Cross societies.