| Jun 27, 2023
Midwives bring hope to Rohingya refugees
Nasrin holding the baby she helped deliver.
COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh – Khadija*, 21, lives in a displacement center for Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. A trained midwife, she knew all too well the danger she could face as she went into labor at home on 14 May – just as Cyclone Mocha made its destructive landfall along the coast beside the camp.
$15 provides 3 pregnant women with emergency birth kits, so they can safely give birth when crisis strikes.
The powerful storm brought gales and torrential rain that caused widespread flooding and multiple landslides across the district. Some 2.3 million people were affected, including over 960,000 Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar – people who are already impoverished, marginalized and highly vulnerable. Health centres, safe spaces for women and girls, and thousands of homes have been damaged or destroyed entirely – as the monsoon season threatens to bring yet more rain.
Khadija urgently needed help, but a trained birth attendant couldn't reach her due to the floods, and the nearest health centres had been forced to close. Her family finally managed to call a UNFPA-supported ambulance -- and just in time.
Nasrin, 27, was one of the midwives on duty that day. She explained that Khadija’s blood pressure was too high – a condition that can be life-threatening during childbirth – and that complications had developed following the attempted home delivery.
$400 supports a midwife like Nasrin for one month during monsoon season.
Nasrin performs postpartum check-ups on Khadija and her son at the hospital in a Rohingya refugee center in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. © UNFPA/Fahim Ahad
Working quickly to resolve the situation, they helped her to safely deliver a healthy baby boy – but their relief was short lived. The new mother soon started bleeding profusely. She was suffering a post-partum haemorrhage that, without the intervention of skilled midwives, could have ended in severe illness or death.
“She held my hand and thanked me with a full heart,” said Nasrin. “This is the kind of moment that inspires me more about my profession.”
$150 equips a clinic with medicines and supplies to manage emergency complications, like Khadija's bleeding.