Woman smiling and holding her new born
Woman smiling and holding her new born - Photo: Wouter Nagel

One Sunday, in October 2021, we received a phone call from a health inspector in Ambatomainty who explained that there were complications with a woman who was about to give birth.

Nurse and founder of Mobile Hilfe Madagascar, Tanja Hock, confirmed the worst – without professional intervention, she would not make it through the night and the only way to help, was to bring a medical team to her.

Within a couple hours, pilot Wouter Nagel was airborne with a surgeon, anesthetist, and Tanja for a 50-minute flight to Ambatomainty. With her many years of experience, Tanja was able to deliver the baby without surgical intervention. Local doctors and nurses gathered round as she recognized the teaching opportunity.

I feel privileged to be part of a team where we jump up and run to save lives.
Wouter Nagel

In Madagascar, 335 women out of every 100,000 live births result in the death of the mother (*), due to pregnancy and birth complications. Gratefully, on this occasion and thanks to Tanja and her medical team and MAF, tragedy was averted with a safe birth procedure for both the mother and the baby.

MAF Pilot Wouter Nagel and Tanja Hock's medical team
MAF Pilot Wouter Nagel and Tanja Hock's medical team - Photo:
(*) Source: Madagascar ranks 33rd in the world for Maternal Mortality Ratiowith 335 female deaths/100,000 live births. In comparison, South Sudan ranked number 1, with 1,150/100,000. The UK ranked 158thin the world, with 7/100,000. Figures from 2017.