Help Rohingya Refugees Become New Moms Safely

by USA for UNFPA
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Help Rohingya Refugees Become New Moms Safely
Help Rohingya Refugees Become New Moms Safely
Help Rohingya Refugees Become New Moms Safely
Help Rohingya Refugees Become New Moms Safely
Help Rohingya Refugees Become New Moms Safely
Help Rohingya Refugees Become New Moms Safely
Help Rohingya Refugees Become New Moms Safely

Project Report | Feb 21, 2024
Support Rohingya Midwives in Bangladesh

By Communications Team | USA for UNFPA

Photo: UNFPA Bangladesh/Nusrat Mahmud Ananna
Photo: UNFPA Bangladesh/Nusrat Mahmud Ananna

In the heart of a bustling refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, Roksana, a supervisor of midwives, is an example of the transformative power of training and dedication. Her story shows the impact of UNFPA’s training programs and how they equip many midwives to save lives and uplift communities.

Roksana's journey to becoming a supervisor of midwives began as a dedicated midwife in a Rohingya refugee camp. Her refugee camp lacked a midwife supervisor and she was inspired to fill the gap after an international midwife mentor visited her facility and provided midwifery mentorship to her cohort. This introduction spurred Roksana to pursue a career as a supervisor. She recognized it as an opportunity to showcase her leadership skills. Roksana worked hard to pass the supervisor exam and was motivated by her love of teaching, as well as her desire to make a lasting impact. 

UNFPA's Training: Turning Theory into Practice

Before UNFPA's training programs, Roksana’s midwifery knowledge hadn’t been put to the test in real life scenarios. The introduction of the Midwifery Life Saving Training was a game-changer. It gave midwives like Roksana the opportunity to engage in simulation exercises, transforming theoretical knowledge into practical skills they could deploy in life-threatening situations. Roksana also developed as a mentor, facilitating training sessions and sharing her knowledge with fellow midwives.

$100 funds a midwife or community health care worker like Hadika in a community for one week. 

Building Trust, Transforming Communities

Roksana's role extends far beyond clinical care; it's about building trust and delivering respectful maternity care. Her approach has created a positive environment in the community she serves. Mothers seek her out when they are ready to give birth, trusting her expertise and care. Community health workers refer to her as "Boro Apa” (Elder Sister), a term of respect and endearment, and a testament to the trust she has earned.

Being a supervisor of midwives comes with its own set of challenges. Roksana faces issues such as the lack of simulation dummies, making some mentoring situations challenging. Additionally, there is a shortage of midwives, leading to a rush of patients in her facility, which limits the time available for proper mentorship. Despite these hurdles, Roksana's commitment shines through as she seeks creative solutions to continue delivering quality care.

According to the International Midwifery Mentors at UNFPA Bangladesh, Ms. Ana Velez, and Ms. Christine Eloto, by the end of September 2023, UNFPA implemented 11 training sessions for UNFPA partners. Additionally, 2 sessions in Bhasan Char were conducted. These trainings have reached over 285 midwives in the Cox's Bazar and Bhasan Char areas. There has been a significant improvement in midwives’ confidence to respond to obstetric and newborn emergencies. Before the training, about 49% of participants felt extremely confident in responding to emergencies, compared to 74% after completing the training.

Among the many emergencies Roksana responded to, one particular incident stands out. A pregnant woman arrived at Roksana's facility unconscious and bleeding profusely. Her vital signs were alarming, and she was in shock due to an incomplete abortion. With quick thinking and skilled hands, Roksana and her team initiated the non-pneumatic anti-shock garment (NASG), administered oxygen, established an IV access to stabilize the woman, and arranged an immediate referral to a field hospital. The mother required three units of blood, and for three days, the NASG remained a lifeline. Through their expertise, Roksana and her team saved her life, a testament to the essential impact of their training.

A Vision for the Future

As Roksana looks ahead, her goals are clear: to develop the skills of fellow midwives through mentorship, provide respectful maternity care, and enhance her mentoring abilities through continuous education.

$400 funds a midwife or community health care worker like Hadika in a community for one month. 

In Roksana, we find not just a midwife supervisor but a hero who embodies the spirit of compassion, dedication, and lifelong learning.

Looking ahead to the future, Roksana says:

“My journey is fueled by a simple but powerful belief: no mother should ever have to fear childbirth. I am committed to teaching, learning, and ensuring that every birth is a moment of joy and not a moment of sorrow.”

Roksana's story serves as a powerful reminder of the incredible impact that dedicated midwives can have, and her journey inspires us all to strive for a world where every birth is a moment of celebration and not sorrow. Your support has a direct impact on improving the lives of pregnant women in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Thank you. 


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Oct 25, 2023
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By Communications Team | USA for UNFPA

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Organization Information


Location: New York, NY - USA
Project Leader:
Olivia Ryan
New York , NY United States
$7,330 raised of $50,000 goal
82 donations
$42,670 to go
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