Clinging to life

The reality of being born in Nepal is that statistically speaking, you have a one in 20 chance of dying in infancy. In rural areas, where access to health care is minimal, or you are born to a mother with many other children to look after, your chance of dying goes up even higher.  We came across this small day old baby when we arrived inManma Hospital.  His mother had had a difficult delivery, and had required intervention from the midwives upon arrival at the hospital. He had aspirated (breathed in his own faeces) prior to delivery, and his lungs were in very poor condition.  The only equipment available was a small amount of oxygen. He was in desperate need of intensive care, but this simply was not available anywhere nearby. He was lucky to receive any care at all; most babies receive none, as their mothers do not have access healthcare at all during pregnancy or delivery.  At one point he clung onto my finger; a moving moment, which represented to me the fragility of so many lives in that area of the world.