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“The Hospital Has Nothing”- Flood in Pakistan Put Pregnant Women in Danger

Author: Seemab Chaudhary
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Pregnant women in flood-hit areas of Pakistan do not find any maternity services.

Pakistan, a third of the country, is under water and around 6.5m women in flood-hit areas are in danger. These women in those areas need maternity services. A recent incident has just revealed the condition in the flood-hit or their nearby hospitals, there are no maternity services or even basic healthcare.

Eight months pregnant woman was crying and vomiting with labor pains for an hour and was looking for an ambulance. Named Nseeba Ameerullah, aged 23, found one ambulance and begged for the rise.

Roads were damaged and gridlocked, which made it difficult to reach the hospital and took a twelve-hour drive. She left in the morning for the hospital, and it took a whole day to reach the hospital in Quetta.

She said, “I didn’t know what was happening around me when it finally reached the hospital, the doctors said I would not survive if they didn’t operate immediately.”

Doctors had to rush just because of severe high blood pressure and labor complications.

“I gave birth to a baby boy two days ago, but the doctors told us that the baby requires to be incubated, but there were no incubators available, so we had to take my baby to my mother’s place. I haven’t seen my baby yet”, Naseeba said.

All the women in flood-hit areas said that they have been abandoned without healthcare, clean drinking water, and even food to get proper nutrition.

Another woman, Rubina, who lives on the roadside tent in Jaffarabad, also had to experience pregnancy-related complications with body aches and anemia. She could not find any medicine and also could not afford a private hospital.

Dr. Sultan Ahmed Lehri said that women in many different districts in Balochistan have nutrition deficiencies, and the situation gets worse due to floods.

He said “if steps are not taken by the government this can turn into a huge crisis. The government needs to work on this issue on a war footing and reach out to women and the broader population".