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The flight of the Rohingya has caught the world’s attention. Since 25 August, more than half a million men, women and children fled from one country to another in search of safety and respite.
The conditions of those now living in Bangladesh, having crossed from Myanmar, are dire. Many have arrived with just the clothes they happened to be wearing; they arrive scarred, wounded, traumatised.
Amy Le Compte is a midwife from Gisborne in New Zealand. She has just returned from a six-month assignment in MSF Women's Hospital in Peshawar, in the north of Pakistan where, along with daily maternity work, she supported the launch of a new community outreach program to enable access to quality maternity care for poor and marginalised populations.
February 09, 2015
While there are numerous private maternity hospitals in Pakistan’s Peshawar district, specialized obstetrics units are often out of reach of the country’s most vulnerable women. As a result, the maternal mortality rate is around 276 per 100,000 live births, compared to just nine out of 100,000 in France.
This piece originally appeared in The Express Tribune.
The internally displaced persons in the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas have escaped the violence but are confronted with greater challenges.
“Home is a precious place. I would give anything to return to mine,” says 65-year-old Gul Bibi, as she gently rocks back and forth on a bed at the hospital set up by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Sadda, the second-largest town in Kurram Agency, FATA. The hospital is full of women who have babies and children in their arms or sleeping by their feet.
The population of Kabul has tripled over the past decade and is now estimated at more than five million. The newer residents are a varied mix of internally displaced persons fleeing conflict in more insecure regions of Afghanistan, economic migrants seeking better opportunities in the capital, returnees from refugee camps in Pakistan, families without land, and members of marginalized minority groups who struggle to find a place within mainstream Afghan society. Many of them live in the outskirts of the city and have little access to health care.
À l’occasion de la Journée internationale de la femme, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) constate que le nombre de femmes mourant en couches reste élevé, et ce, alors que ces décès pourraient être facilement évités. Dans un rapport intitulé sur la mortalité maternelle, MSF montre comment des soins obstétriques d’urgence dispensés dans des situations de crises humanitaires peuvent avoir un impact direct et sauver des vies.
Every day, approximately 1,000 women die in childbirth or from a pregnancy-related complication. Maternal death can occur at any time in pregnancy, but delivery is by far the most dangerous time for both the mother and the baby. The vast majority of these deaths can be prevented if access to emergency obstetric care is ensured.
At a hospital in Hangu district, in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) team treats a large number of patients for trauma caused by road accidents and shootings. Health workers are also trying to bring down the high rate of maternal mortality in the area. MSF treated 20,000 patients in Hangu, including many mothers, in 2011.