A pregnant Nigerian woman who was airlifted off a ship carrying migrants rescued off Libya has given birth to a baby boy, says the humanitarian group, Doctors Without Borders.
Last Wednesday, the Armed Forces of Malta lifted the 9-month-old pregnant woman requiring medical attention and her husband from an Ocean Viking rescue ship in the Mediterranean Sea.
The 23-year-old pregnant woman and her husband were on board the charity ship carrying more than 80 migrants in the Mediterranean Sea. The ship is run by SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders.
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The vessel had requested a medical evacuation following an examination by a midwife and a medical team. The team suggested that the woman had “developed a serious medical complication which could put her and her baby at risk,” MSF project coordinator Erkinalp Kesikli told the Associated Press.
The Norwegian-flagged Ocean Viking has a doctor, two nurses and a midwife on board at all times due to the possibility of having to deliver a baby at sea.
According to the AFP, at least 35 babies have been born on various rescue vessels in the Mediterranean in recent years. Six of them were born on the Ocean Viking’s sister ship, the “Aquarius.”
Doctors Without Borders, which runs the ship together with SOS Mediterranee, told Washington Post that the woman gave birth on Thursday in Malta. It said both mother and child were doing well.
However, AP reports there are more migrants on the ship requiring medical help.
“We have just completed a medical evaluation of a pregnant woman and her husband with a helicopter from the Armed Forces of Malta, who came from Malta and is now taking this woman who is in need of immediate medical care”, said Nicola Stalla, Search and Rescue Coordinator for SOS Mediterranee.
“And now we still have the remaining 82 survivors on board who are in an urgent need as well of a place of safety”, Stalla added.
The Ocean Viking rescued 50 migrants from a rubber boat on Sunday. Among them was the pregnant Nigerian woman.
On Monday, the ship took on another 34 migrants from a sailboat operated by another humanitarian group, increasing the number of migrants to over 80.