20 April 2017

Namibia: Police Help Woman Give Birth On the Street

Photo: The Namibian
Police help woman give birth on the street.

FIVE female police officers helped deliver a baby behind the Opuwo police station earlier this month.

The officers used a blanket to shield Tuapuikisa Tjiposa from prying eyes while she was in labour, with her mother standing by to receive the newborn baby girl.

Tjiposa delivered the baby, her sixth, while standing.

She recently expressed her gratitude towards the officers who came running when she screamed for help.

"To be honest, I did not know I was going to give birth. I thought my day was still far, but when we were walking into town with my mother, I felt some back pains. I thought maybe it was because of walking. My water broke, and something was pushing out. I told my mother," explained Tjiposa.

She said her mother was familiar with assisting in standing births.

"Yes, it was painful, but there was nothing else to do but to push," she said, adding that the officers called for an ambulance which arrived just before her mother could cut the umbilical cord.

As a sign of gratitude, Tjiposa asked one of the officers to name her new daughter. The officer, she said, named the baby Anna-Marie.

Kunene regional deputy commissioner Lydia Shapwanale said they rushed when they heard the calls for help, thinking that the woman was being attacked.

"My team and I were having a slow day that Monday morning, and when we heard a call, we thought maybe a woman was being attacked or something.

"We stormed out, but when we got to where the women were, Tjiposa's mother told us that her daughter was in labour. I must say it was kind of a shock. We had to think on our feet.

"One of the officers ran to her car and got a blanket, while the other got a [cardboard] box where we could lie the mother down," Shapwanale noted.

She said while the other officers covered Tjiposa and helped her relax, her mother was receiving the baby.

Shapwanale added that they named the girl after the first-ever female police officer with the rank of major general, Anna-Marie Nainda, from the Otjikoto region.

Police spokesperson chief inspector Kauna Shikwambi said the force was proud of its officers, and that they were not only there to enforce the law, but also to lend a helping hand when needed.

"This is a sign of good community policing, and good working relations. We are, therefore, calling on fellow officers to emulate [them]. As the police, we are also developing an attitude of empathy. As we all know, charity is a universal gesture," Shikwambi said.

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