Mobile Health Teams are a providing a lifeline to #Afghans who need services for reproductive #health and psychosocial support, including mental health. 20+ #MHTs currently supported by @UNFPAAfg to bring reproductive health services closer to the people in #AFG. #StayAndDeliver pic.twitter.com/IYl0NBHk95
— UNFPA Afghanistan (@UNFPAAfg) October 27, 2021
An ultrasound revealed that the fetus was in a transverse position, meaning it was lying horizontally rather than head-down, a dangerous complication.
Concerns over Caesarean
The doctor told her she needed a Caesarean section, but Najaba was fearful of the operation. She left the hospital to give more thought to her situation.
She even considered trying to deliver at home. “When the district hospital discharged me, I decided to do the delivery at home with support of my mother,” Najaba told UNFPA.
But in the following days, growing insecurity caused many health facilities to close – including the district hospital.
Najaba realized that if the delivery proved complicated, she would be unable to seek emergency assistance.
Desperate search for care
She called her mother in desperation. Her mother called many of the women elders in their community to seek advice. Finally, Najaba recalled, “My relative called me and informed me about a small clinic.”
It was the nearby Ghuchan Family Health House, a UNFPA-supported facility where a community midwife was still providing services to pregnant women.
Going into labour
Not long after, Najaba went into labour. With her mother and husband, she rushed to the family health house. There, the midwife took her medical history, conducted a physical examination and listened to her concerns.
When Najaba expressed anxiety about the delivery, the midwife comforted her and said she would try to deliver the baby without any surgical procedure.
Four hours later, a healthy baby was born naturally.
The skilled midwife had been able to avoid a Caesarean section, and Najaba and the baby were both healthy enough to be discharged soon after.