The labor pains came in the middle of the night. Ismail Alghazali, the anxious 24-year-old father-to-be, bolted out of his rented apartment in the capital of Djibouti and desperately scanned the deserted streets. It took him twenty minutes to find a cab.

Racing up the stairs to their second-floor apartment, he carried his screaming wife out into the car. The Egyptian-run hospital — the only one he knew in this unfamiliar city — was thirty minutes away. But there were no ambulances to be had and their baby wouldn’t wait.

He still remembers the waves of fear and the rush…

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store