Afghanistan: Hope for life
During a visit to a family, one of the women there asked the Terre des hommes (Tdh) midwife to urgently help her daughter-in-law, who was about to give birth. The midwife took her birthing kit and went into the house, where she found the pregnant woman in a critical state, very pale and bleeding heavily. The midwife quickly applied first aid measures and helped the mother to take medicine.
She recommended the husband to take his wife to the nearest hospital as an emergency, but he would not agree and demanded that his wife should give birth at home, even if she died. The midwife then did everything in her power; as the patient was suffering from placental haemorrhage, she followed the correct procedure to deliver the placenta and stop the bleeding. That day, that young woman was lucky.
The next day, Tdh’s midwife visited the mother for a check-up, medical care and to bring her necessary materials and kits. On a later visit, she made a full medical check-up which showed that the woman had been hit violently during her pregnancy. She had lost teeth, having been beaten frequently. Tdh’s midwife also noticed that the children in the house suffered from chronic malnutrition. The patient told the midwife that she had been married off when very young.
The midwife continued to pay regular visits and give the necessary health care as well as messages about health to the members of the family, in particular to the husband. She also talked to him about the health condition of his children and his wife, and advised him to take them to the programme for complementary nutrition so as to get the appropriate treatment. After a while, the midwife could see positive results, as the health of both the mother and her children improved. The mother was greatly appreciative of the work done by Tdh’s Programme for Home Visits and of the midwife. She told the latter that she had been “a guardian angel for her family and herself”.