Rubina Mallah took dangerous three-hour boat trip through flood water to get to the nearest hospital in time give her birth baby sonhow the roads leading to the clinic in Sehwan was flooded.
27-year-old one of dozens of thousands of pregnant women displaced by historic floods that inundated nearly a third of country and affected 33 million people, many now in camps.
“I was worried that night when the water from the lake overflowed its banks,” Malla told Reuters as she cradled her. oneday son Muhammad Tayyab. Her village, located on in edge of the huge freshwater lake Manchar, now under water.
“My husband brought a boat, I traveled three hours get to the hospital where my birth is took place.”
Tayyab started life in makeshift shelter in school built on outskirts of city of Sehwan. it common fate like millions of Pakistanis are looking for safety from rising waters that flooded homes and fields and destroyed livelihood.
Read more: Pregnant women caught in Desperate floods in Pakistan for to help
Malla husband Mushtaq Mallah said family originally decided to stay at home because they had nowhere to go, and therefore set up camp on their roof.
“My wife went into labor pains around 10 p.m.,” he recalls. “We spent the night in despair; in In the morning I brought the boat… and we got to the hospital.
“It’s been a journey of despair. Every time the floods come, we become destitute.”
Hospital, Abdullah Shah Institute in Sehwan is about 15 kilometers from the Mallah home. home. Normally this would be an easy journey.
But as it rained heavily in August, Pakistan’s largest freshwater lake came perilously close to overflowing its banks, even after it had been breached. in water containment operation.
Nyla Qureshi, a gynecologist at the hospital, said the outpatient department sees about 150 pregnant women. women every day from nearby areas.
From Tuesday six women those displaced by the flood had children at the institute, and one patient she had an emergency C-section, she told Reuters.
“Our workload has increased. Some of our doctors who belong to different areas, stay here because there is an emergency. Pregnancy is not (only) issue… women go with psychological trauma of total loss”, Qureshi added.
director of hospital, Moinuddin Siddiqi, said the medical teams attended camps for give pregnant women necessary medicines.
See also: Rescue operation continues on Lake Manchar
“Those who are full-term pregnant women, we advise them not to give birth to children in the camps under any circumstances. cost” said Siddiqi.
“Without a doubt, the floods are likely to increase the chances of infant and maternal mortality, added.
In the hospital, another waiting mother32-year-old Dilshad Allahwarayo, also arrived by boat.
“I was having labor pains when the floods started,” she said.
Acting Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for Pakistan Dr. Bakhtior Kadyrov said his organization was concerned about dozens of of thousands of pregnant women in affected areas.
UNFPA latest the estimate is that 138,000 women in need of humanitarian aid due to flooding is pregnant and 40,000 are expected to have children in September.
UNFPA is committed to reaching those who give birth this month, work with World Health Organization (WHO) and UN children agency (UNICEF) send out mobile teams as well as set up temporary hospitals in camps.
Medics especially concerned about women who can not access health care in time who there are complications requiring delivery via caesarean section or who develop post- birth bleeding, both of which may be deadly or result in disability without access to specialized healthcare.
Even before the flood national 186 women deaths per 100,000 live birthsaccording to official numbers.
This increases to 224 per 100,000 people. births in province of Sindh where mallahs lived and 298 maternal deaths per 100,000 births in Balochistan, the other most difficult hit provinces.
“One of the problem is that before flood maternal mortality rate was high,” Kadyrov said.
“The damage done to medical facilities and infrastructure is unimaginable, taking lives of pregnant women in great risk,” he added.