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Gunshot Baby in Burkina Faso Born Healthy

Fourteen people were killed and hundreds were wounded during an attempt to overthrow the government of Burkina Faso in September.

One of those wounded was Safiatou Ouedraogo. She was days away from giving birth, and she was shot in the abdomen.

Ouedraogo was washing her clothes when she was shot.

“I heard some loud noises, and I thought it was just kids playing. Next thing I know something hit my stomach. I stood up, but nothing fell off my lap. I looked to the ground to check, but I saw nothing there either, so I looked at my stomach and realized that whatever hit me had gone deep into my stomach.”

She was immediately brought to a Catholic Church hospital in the capital, Ouagadougou. The bullet hit the baby.

She was cared for by Dr. Aicha Sana and her colleagues.

“When she arrived here, she was not in labor and she was also conscious. When we did some exams we saw that the bullet had crossed through the uterus. Since she was not in labor we decided to do a C-section to deliver the baby.”

The baby was not seriously hurt. Once she was out of the womb, she started crying.

The baby girl has been named Boinzimwende. It means “God is above all” in the Mossi language.

I’m Mario Ritter.

Bagassi Koura reported on this story from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Christopher Jones-Cruise adapted the story for VOA Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.

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Words in This Story

stomach – n. the organ in the body where food goes and begins to be digested after it is swallowed

lap – n. the area between the knees and the hips of a person who is sitting down

labor – n. the process by which a woman gives birth to a baby

conscious – adj. awake and able to understand what is happening around you

uterus – n. the organ in women and some female animals in which babies develop before birth

C-section – n. a surgical operation that delivers a baby through an incision, or cut, in the abdomen; short for “Caesarean section,” as in "Caesar"

deliver – v. to give birth to (a baby)

womb – n. the organ in women and some female animals in which babies develop before birth

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