Bright an early Sunday morning we were visited by Gideon Alinga, a prominent community leader, who was bursting with news of the birth of a son. One of his two wives had just delivered her eight child . . . The first C-Section by Dr. Jonah at NHC. As we have heard the full story this week we were again amazed at the way God answers prayers, the orchestration of this birth.
Alinga is an old-time WHM contact, sponsored by previous missionaries for a degree, fallen out of favor over various issues but still a strong force in this community, not always a force in our favor, a somewhat tricky relationship. His wife was in labor late Saturday night when the midwife (Rose, another nurse we sponsored for further studies who just completed midwifery at the same time as Jonah) detected on exam that the baby’s umbilical cord had prolapsed, which means it was coming out of the womb ahead of the baby. If this happens the baby’s blood supply is cut off and the baby will die. She called Jonah, who quickly decided an emergency C-section was the only way to save the baby. The nurse-anesthetist had gone to her home village and was untraceable (it was now after midnight) so Jonah wondered if he should refer them to Bundibugyo, but knew that the baby was not likely to survive the trip. So he operated anyway, delivering a healthy large boy, finishing at about 4 am, with a stand-by lantern in case the solar-powered lights did not last long enough.
Jonah’s first C-section could have been anyone; for it to be this family smacked of God’s timing. The late hour, lack of anesthetist, and critical condition of the baby could have spelled disaster; having a great outcome smacked of God’s mercy. Now Alinga and his fairly powerful clan met and decided to name the baby Jonah Guvenah. They reasoned that like Jonah of the Bible he emerged from the belly miraculously. To name a baby after Dr. Jonah (who is from the Bakonjo tribe, not the Babwisi like this family) combined with the grandfather’s name (Guvenah) is quite amazing. Alinga is now enthusiastically drawing public support for Jonah’s presence here.
More chapters to come no doubt!