In Lao PDR, midwives provide life-saving and culturally competent care to the country’s ethnic communities
- 22 September 2022
LONG DISTRICT, Lao People’s Democratic Republic – “In the past, Akha women gave birth without assistance and did not come to health centres. Most of the pregnancies were unsafe,” says 28-year-old midwife Vida Jepeu.
BALOCHISTAN, Pakistan – “I walked for about 35 kilometres while in labour because the floods had damaged the road between my village and the hospital,” said Bakhtnama Khairullah, 32, from Harnai in Balochistan province.
Hers was one of the first areas to be hit by unprecedented monsoon rains that have engulfed one-third of the country. The mountainous terrain Ms. Khairullah trekked over is treacherous even on dry days – for a woman in labour in floodwaters, it was life threatening.
The Midwifery Specialist will be located in the Bangladesh Country Office (CO) and reports to Chief of Health.
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PAKTIKA, Afghanistan – “There was a woman who was heavily pregnant. She was injured and had lost family members in the earthquake… She was in a state of shock,” said Minaz Bibi, a newly-trained midwife in Afghanistan’s Paktika province.
Moments later, the woman went into premature labour. This was the first delivery that Ms. Bibi had assisted alone, without the support of a mentor – and in the midst of a humanitarian emergency.
Erika is among the first generation of women to be trained as midwives at the Technological University of Tulancingo in Mexico.
She wants to dedicate her life to caring for women and preventing maternal deaths in her community.
MANANJARY, Madagascar – “I’m so proud and happy to have helped this young girl to give birth safely today,” said Marie Nancy Christiane, gazing at the new mother and daughter after supporting the delivery on 5 May – International Day of the Midwife.
05 May 2022
Statement by UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem on the International Day of the Midwife
UNITED NATIONS, New York – “My great-grandmother was a midwife,” said Erika Martinez, 23. “She was one of my biggest inspirations.”
Ms. Martinez is a midwifery student in Tulancingo, Mexico, working in an underserved community. “There is a health care house, but there are no permanent staff,” she explained. “In my community there are many youth pregnancies, and there are no dedicated health staff who could care for women or take care of teenagers.”
Shakila Parvin has been a UNFPA-trained midwife in the refugee camps of Cox’s Bazar since 2019.
ZAATARI CAMP, Jordan – "On my first day at work in the camp, I cried a lot. At that time, I had not worked with refugees before, and I had no idea about their conditions," Ammoun Kitabi, a 58-year-old midwife, told UNFPA, at the reproductive health clinic in Zaatari camp where she tends to Syrian refugees. "The reason I cried was because I knew that most of them had everything they needed in their country.”
Ms. Kitabi knows better than most.