Inside the neonatal intensive care unit, a newborn baby, only days old, is struggling to breathe. Nurse supervisor Gaziur Rahman and his colleagues get to work. Standing nearby, the baby’s young Rohingya parents have a shocked look in their eyes. They haven’t even had a chance to name the infant girl. Gaziur is helped by a team of nurses who take turns carrying out bag-valve mask ventilation – a method of squeezing a bag to help a baby breathe oxygen into its body. A digital pulse oximeter displays the baby’s heartrate and blood oxygen levels; the reading of 60 to 70 percent oxygen level does not augur well.
None of the nurses is breaking a sweat, but they do not look satisfied. A doctor is watching the proceedings and taking notes. Ten minutes have passed. Gaziur looks determined, but does not want to raise false hope for the baby’s parents. This is going to be a tough night for the MSF team. Gaziur speaks softly: “The prognosis does not look good.”