New Year babies: The first MSF newborns of 2024
As people celebrated the beginning of 2024, Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) teams were busy welcoming new life into the world.
From Iraq, Sierra Leone, Pakistan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, here are just some of the many babies born into our care on the first day of 2024 – treated alongside their mothers at maternity units, hospitals and healthcare centres supported by MSF.
Shortly after midnight in the city of Mosul, a little boy was born.
“We are still undecided about his name," says his mother, Almas.
"We need more time to choose a unique name for him, but I am happy for his wellbeing and I hope he becomes a dentist when he grows up.”
Staff at an MSF-supported maternity unit in Sierra Leone helped mum Abie welcome her newborn on 1 January.
Many women in Sierra Leone live in remote and rural areas far from healthcare facilities. They cannot afford the transport to reach hospital, while roads are usually poor and there is a nationwide shortage of ambulances. Sadly, by the time a woman experiencing childbirth complications does manage to reach healthcare, it may be too late.
Lucky for this mother and baby, both are healthy and doing well.
In Pakistan, at just three minutes past midnight, Sonari delivered a healthy baby boy in our maternity unit in Eastern Baluchistan.
“I am so happy and grateful to all the staff for helping me deliver my baby safely,” says Sonari.
“Please, forward my best wishes for the New Year to the entire world!”
In Bentiu camp – home to more than 100,000 displaced people – two baby girls were born on the first day of 2024.
The first was born in the opening hour of the new year, weighing 3.3kg. Her mother hopes she will become a doctor.
MSF has three maternal health projects in Ethiopia. And, in total, 10 mothers gave birth on New Year's Day 2024.
These photos show the first babies from two of the projects – one in Kule Refugee Camp in the Gambela region, and another in Abi-adi, Tigray.
On New Year’s Day in Bangladesh, five babies entered the world at our three maternity facilities – four boys and one girl.
Born at 00:02 on 1 January, Zubir was the first baby born into MSF's care in Afghanistan in 2024.
His mother, who was considered at high risk for childbirth complications, arrived at MSF's Khost Maternity Hospital in active labour.
“People in my village know about this hospital and all mothers who start having contractions come directly because they feel safe here," she said.
Afghanistan is home to MSF's busiest maternity services worldwide.
The MSF team at Khost Hospital, and Boost Hospital further away in Helmand Province, provide safe delivery services to women with complicated or risky pregnancies and receive referrals from across their regions.
Every month, MSF assists more than 4,000 births at these two hospitals alone.
MSF and maternal health
Many women across the world give birth without medical assistance.
This massively increases the risk of complications or death. Ninety-four percent of these deaths are in low- and middle-income countries. The majority are preventable with appropriate care.
Our healthcare teams work together with pregnant women to provide delivery services, emergency obstetric care and post-delivery consultations.