Pregnant women facing bombs and starvation in Yemen are paying a heavy price
Tuesday 11 April 2017
Two years since the escalation of the conflict, Save the Children’s teams in the field are now seeing many women suffering miscarriages.
More than a million pregnant and nursing mothers are suffering from acute malnutrition. And with the country’s healthcare system on the brink of collapse, midwives say simple complications in pregnancy are often life-threatening.
Giving birth during an airstrike
Horeh gave birth to her first child while trapped in her home during an airstrike. She miscarried her second after another strike hit her street.
“My brothers came to my house with blood on their faces and hands. They told me my uncle’s house had been destroyed and a whole innocent family killed. I was terrified. I was so shocked I started bleeding and, the next day, I miscarried my child,” she says in an interview with Save the Children.
Miscarrying alone, with no medical care
Arwa miscarried twice – the first time doctors said it was due to an infection; the second time, because she was malnourished.
“The last miscarriage happened while I was in the house and I was bleeding badly. I could not go to the health facility because I didn’t have any money to pay for transport,” she recalls.
“I spent five days lying on the bed not moving because I couldn’t stand up and walk. I felt so scared, I thought I was about to die. I was all alone at home while it happened. I feel so scared that it will all happen again.”
Hanan Saleh, a midwife working for Save the Children says:
“Doing my job under the current situation has become extremely difficult. Complications have become almost a norm, which is beyond our control given the limited resources of supplies, medicines, and equipment. My colleague midwives have become hesitant to do their jobs because they do not have the necessary supplies. They fear that pregnant women will die because of the simplest complications like bleeding.”