Born in the Back of an Ambulance: Stories from the Pakistan Project

04/16/2022 11:00am

Every year in Pakistan approximately 476,000 children under the age of five years die of preventable causes - that’s over 1,300 children every day, or 54 children every hour.

The devastating impact on parents is unimaginable, especially when these deaths are completely preventable through simple healthcare measures, such as a 20p sachet of rehydration drink for diarrhoea, oral antibiotics for pneumonia, or support during labour. Thousands of mothers in Pakistan also pass away every year from connected and treatable causes, as a result of poor access to, & quality of, maternal and newborn healthcare services.

Unicef reports that 75% of newborn baby deaths in Pakistan are caused by three specific & treatable conditions.

Complications due to premature birth, complications during labour and delivery and infections such as sepsis, meningitis, and pneumonia are some of the most common causes of death for babies. In addition, thousands of mothers in Pakistan are also dying every year from connected and preventable causes. These deaths are a result of poor access to, and quality of, maternal and newborn healthcare services. Lack of adequate nutrition also contributes to these devastating deaths, with many underweight and hungry mothers unable to afford basic meals due to poverty. 

“We are so thankful to Doctors Worldwide for this; for talking to our community, and for giving us healthcare without any charges.” - Recipient of maternal care.

The DWW Hospital

To provide a diverse range of quality healthcare to those in the poorer regions of Pakistan, including maternal care, Doctors Worldwide have been investing in long term healthcare strengthening and development in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK). There, an innovative, earthquake-resistant, 50-bed community hospital was built in the aftermath of the catastrophic 2005 earthquake. Situated between Mansehra and Kashmir, where currently no healthcare facilities are available, the hospital provides access to better quality maternity and newborn care through investing in, and improving, the already existing healthcare systems for the surrounding communities. 

Every hour, one mother in Pakistan dies during childbirth. Yet so far, your support has resulted in the safe delivery of 5,415 babies.

Pakistan Maternal Care: Baby born in back of Doctors Worldwide Ambulance

Born in the Back of an Ambulance:

For a mother in labour, having no access to a safe and sanitary place to give birth is a terrifying experience. In rural areas of Pakistan, births often occur on straw floors, and are fraught with danger, whilst the distance to a hospital is too far to be a realistic option in the case of a complication. 

However, only weeks ago, a baby was safely born in the back of an ambulance at the DWW hospital. 

Had the hospital not existed and had the ambulance not been accessible, there would have been at least another thirty minutes drive to the next facility, causing potential complications and even death. The existence of the DWW hospital meant that staff were on hand to help the mother give birth safely, despite there being no time available to even transfer the patient into the hospital itself. 

In this case, both mother and baby are now doing well, but not everyone is as fortunate. 

Your donation to our Pakistan project could save lives.

We are currently working to equip and add services to the lower and upper floors of the hospital to provide in-patient care and expansion of maternal, neonatal, children and adolescent healthcare services, but we need your help.

Support the expansion and development of the DWW Pakistan hospital and its services today.

Find out more about the project: https://doctorsworldwide.org/project/pakistan 

Donate now: https://bit.ly/3IVtxEr 

If you are currently observing Ramadan, visit our dedicated Ramadan landing page, find out how you can distribute your donations automatically over the last ten nights of the month (zakat eligible), or donate your Zakat in one single amount today.

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