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The BBC's Greg Barrow in Mozambique
"A mission of mercy for a woman who has given birth in a tree"
 real 28k

Thursday, 2 March, 2000, 14:53 GMT
Born above the floodwaters
Baby Rositha
Lucky to have survived: Newborn Rositha Pedro
Rositha Pedro was born in a tree on Wednesday - while her mother clung for safety above Mozambique's floodwaters.

Heavily-pregnant Sofia Pedro, who is in her mid-20s, had climbed to shelter in the tree on Sunday, after the rising floodwaters forced her out of her home.


Sofia Pedro being airlifted to safety
When a South African military helicopter arrived on Wednesday morning to rescue the dozen or so people who had taken refuge in the tree they were told she was about to give birth.

The child was born two minutes later, pilot Chris Berlyn said.

He flew back to a base camp and picked up medic Godfrey Nengovhela who cut the umbilical cord and helped as Sofia was winched to safety.

"If the air force wasn't there, the baby and the mother would have been in big trouble," the pilot said.

Corporal Nengovhela, who has worked as an air force medic for three years, said he had helped deliver babies before, but never in such an "unusual" place.

Sofia Pedro
Mother and baby: Alive and well
Mother and baby were flown to Chiputo, about 150 km (95 miles) north of the capital Maputo where police took them to a clinic.

An exhausted Sofia said from her hospital bed that she was happy to have been rescued along with three other members of her family. But she said her grandmother had died in the floods.

The World Health Organisation is appealing for baby delivery kits for an estimated 3,400 who are expected to give birth with no medical facilities in the coming three months in Mozambique.
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