A Night in the Life of a Levolosi Health Center Volunteer


The photos above depict the labor ward of Levolosi Health Centre. The right photograph shows the labor beds and nurses station, while the left photograph shows the bench where babies are placed after and the hand/tool washing station. 



I spent the first four weeks of my summer internship volunteering in the labor ward of Levolosi Health Centre. After the second day in a row when only one baby was born between 9 am and 3 pm, I decided to try and come to Levolosi for a night shift. One of the nurses had mentioned that most babies were born during the night and while I was nervous about a twelve-hour shift, I was determined to gain more experience in the labor ward.

The above photo shows the scale used to weigh babies.

Not only did I gain more experience by watching the nine babies born my first night and the many babies on nights thereafter, but I also garnered the respect and friendship of the nurses in a way I hadn’t done in two weeks of daytime volunteer work. The nurses shared dinner every night, welcoming me to share food with them and showing more interest in teaching me both how the labor ward worked and the Swahili language

Pages summarizing some of the Swahili I learned during night shifts.

Without the other volunteers who came during the day and with far more babies being born, I learned much faster. At night I was able to prepare delivery packs, clamp umbilical cords, test patients for HIV and hemoglobin levels, and at the end of a week of night shifts, even perform a delivery under the supervision of one of the nurses. She was ready to step in if any complications arose, but the delivery went smoothly.

The tools used to prepare ‘delivery packs.’ These are given to the nurses right after babies are born to cut the umbilical cord, deliver the placenta and potentially suture any tearing. 

These are the medical records currently in use in the labor ward. They are sorted into antenatal, postnatal, and post-cesarian section. 


Written By: Mary Davis

Thanks to Sabrina Fay for uploading the photographs

Date posted: July 31, 2019 | | Comments Off on A Night in the Life of a Levolosi Health Center Volunteer | Health & Care Uncategorized