While on a regular monthly nurse-training visit to a newly added partner health center, LifeNet Nurse Trainer Gabriel was approached by anxious health center nurses who asked for his assistance with a challenging case.

Gabriel followed the nurses into the maternity ward, where he found other nurses gathered around a woman in difficult, premature labor. Ashamed of their lack of knowledge of how to treat the woman, the nurses told Gabriel that she had been in labor for ten hours. He asked them if they had administered anti-spasmodic drugs to stop her contractions. They had not administered any drugs. What’s more, there was no anti-spasmodic in stock in the facility’s pharmacy, the only pharmacy for miles.

Within minutes, the woman began delivering, and Gabriel realized that the baby would weigh barely two pounds on delivery. The woman needed an ambulance to a hospital with an incubator, but the ambulance would take three hours to arrive. As labor continued, the woman began to hemorrhage.

Gabriel realized with a sinking heart that it was too late to save her baby and focused all of his efforts on saving the woman’s life. He saw the delivery through, using the opportunity to train observing staff nurses.

If nurses had known how to address the mother’s entry into premature labor, or if their health center had been stocked with the drug the mother so desperately needed, this story could have turned out differently. Two lives could have been saved instead of one. Gabriel’s experience is just one demonstration of the urgent need for medical training, equipment and pharmaceutical supply chain management that LifeNet provides.