Baby on Board: Women gives birth on Jubba Airways flight

By Asad Cabdullahi Mataan

A Jubba Airlines flight on Saturday witnessed the unscheduled arrival of an extra passenger after a mother gave birth mid-air.

Ibtisam was 30 weeks pregnant when she settled in seat 11A on a flight from Hargeisa to Mogadishu. Shortly after takeoff, Ibtisam began to feel uneasy and other passengers seated nearby quickly took notice. One of those passengers Mohamed Abdi Jamal alerted Eng. Kaamil Abdiaziz Olol – Manager of Jubba Airways flight operations in Kenya – who was sitting in business class.

Kaamil rushed to Ibtisam who informed him that she was beginning to have contractions. He asked her how far along she was and she replied that was 7 months pregnant.

“I realized that she was in serious pain,” Kaamil told HOL by phone “I rushed to the front to update the cabin crew on the situation, and we decided to move her up to business class to make her more comfortable.”

A Jubba Airways flight attended named Rita, went on the PA system and asked if there was a doctor on the plane. Dr. Hafsa Ahmed, an obstetrician rose to the call and with the help of some passengers and cabin crew delivered Ibsitam’s baby boy 32,000 FT above sea level over the small town of Qabridahare in the Ogaden region.

The team quickly reseated some passengers and put up a curtain for Ibtisam’s privacy. The plane was equipped with a First Aid and Doctor Kit.

Joseph McCracken, a British National with experience as a paramedic examined the mother and baby and monitored their health.

Other passengers readily offered their new garments to wrap the newborn baby.

Kaamil said that he asked the Captain to contact the airport to tell them that a baby has been delivered mid-air and to request an ambulance.

The plane landed slightly ahead of schedule at Aden Adde International Airport and Ibtisam and her baby boy were escorted off the plane and onto a waiting ambulance.

Ibtisam decided to name her baby Kaamil, after the flight operator who went above and beyond to ensure that her baby was delivered safely.

In the aviation world, it is assumed that any baby born mid-air would be gifted free or discounted flights for the duration of their life. It is still unclear whether Jubba Airways will honour any such promotion.