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Pregnant and afraid

  • Published at 06:16 pm September 23rd, 2017
  • Last updated at 12:05 am September 24th, 2017
Pregnant  and afraid
One of the most logistically complex aspects of the Rohingya crisis is the treatment of some 20,000 pregnant women who are now on the Bangladeshi side of the border. While workers on the ground have been doing their best by providing food and shelter, the reality is that this is a crisis of such a vast scale that more always needs to be done. There is now a high risk of pregnant Rohingya women developing health problems at the refugee camps, leading to a variety of birth complications. Most of these women have no idea about the special nutritional requirements or the precautions that need to be taken during pregnancy, and many suffer from malnutrition as well as severe mental trauma from what they have been through. Nursing them back to health is a tall order, because so many Rohingya have been starving for days. The ones lucky to have found some food have not been eating the right things; one woman reported she was subsisting on biscuits and puffed rice -- far from the recommended diet during pregnancy. Many are suffering miscarriages and birth complications as a result, and this has been a most daunting challenge for health workers on the ground. Health camps on the site are to be commended for proving antenatal and postnatal care to pregnant Rohingya women, but the truth is that these efforts are still far from enough to meet the staggering scale of the crisis. We must amp our efforts to properly treat pregnant Rohingya women, and also spread knowledge and awareness of family planning and birth control, which they have been deprived of so far.