TNH: Why Rohingya women risk dangerous home births in Bangladesh’s refugee camps

4 June, 2019

Extracts below. Full text here:

https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news/2019/06/03/why-rohingya-women-ri...

... Nearly three of every four births here happen in “unsafe and unsanitary” bamboo shelters now home to nearly one million refugees, according to an assessment released today by Save the Children. These home births are often presided over by untrained traditional birth attendants – not by medical professionals who can treat life-threatening complications...

The maternal health services that do exist are underused. Médecins Sans Frontières says only a small proportion of its consultations involve hospital deliveries – a reversal of what it sees in most crises...

Aid groups are enlisting traditional birth attendants as outreach workers to encourage women to have their babies in safer medical facilities. But these health workers say rumours and misinformation have flourished after the Rohingya exodus from Myanmar...

Minara... says her husband is also opposed to her delivering in a hospital. She fears her neighbours will call her a “bad woman” if she leaves her home: “I’m not brave enough,” she says...

In order to improve maternal care in the camps, health workers say they need to build trust with Rohingya families, including husbands and male community leaders now standing in the way of women seeking help outside the home...

Best wishes, Neil

Coordinator, HIFA Project on Community Health Workers

http://www.hifa.org/projects/community-health-workers

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org