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To meet the needs of pregnant women in crisis, humanitarian heroes like midwife Rahila are a must

23 August 2015

"Seven years ago I graduated from a midwifery course. My family agreed on my education to serve people and to take care of mothers and children", says Rahila Qasimi (25), a midwife working at the clinic based in the Gulan refugee camp in Khost province. UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, supports the clinic by providing emergencyreproductive health kits which are made up of medicines, equipment to support safe deliveries, family planning supplies and supplies to aid in the treatment of rape. Also two midwives are hired.

Since June 2014 a large number of people have been displaced from North-Waziristan due to military operations carried out by the Pakistani Government. Over 200,000 refugees resettled themselves in the Gurbuz district of Khost province. The Afghan Government facilitated settlement in the Gulan camp in order to meet their needs. Since then UNFPA Afghanistan has provided 4,450 dignity kits directly to families.

Satisfaction
Women visit the clinic for postnatal and antenatal care but also for general treatments and gynecological issues. The children that often visit the facility suffer from malnutrition and diarrhea. Rahila is happy with her work at the camp. "It's very satisfying to help these people. They have lost their homes, families are scattered and they have financial problems. Fortunately our services are for free", she says.

Also the patients show their gratitude. One of them is the 30 year old Nazrina who recently delivered twin boys at the clinic. "I had some complications before delivery and I was very worried. I was referred to other doctors and at the last minute they brought me here. I was so happy with the care provided by Rahila. She really made the delivery easy for me", says Nazrina who suffers from anemia.

Survive
Rahila recalls Nazrina's case as one of the memories that she will never forget. "When the babies were born, they were not breathing. When Nazrina saw her babies not moving she started to get worried. I had to take care of the newborns and their mother at the same time. Fortunately I managed and all three of them survived."

During the coming months UNFPA will be hiring two more midwives in order to meet the needs of the camp's residents. This is in line with the current Country Programme Action Plan 2015-2019 between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and UNFPA which ensures that vulnerable people in humanitarian settings can access reproductive health services.