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Pregnancy & Motherhood Amid Strangers & Unknown Languages


MDM comes up with instruction to EU member states for better medical care to refugee mothers.

Dailycsr.com – 12 January 2018 – The executive director at “Merck for Mothers”, Mary-Ann Etiebet, informs that she is continuously reminded of a Syrian girl called Nour who discovered that at the age of twenty two “she was pregnant with her first child” while she was on the run to flee Syria to save herself.
Etiebet keeps thinking of Nour’s condition of having to spend her pregnancy in an “uncertain” environment which could have been accompanied by undernourishment as well as long waits in cold Grecian refugee camp tents. The executive director imagines Nour’s labour pain moment and her having to give birth to her baby in a strange land amid languages that “she didn’t understand”.
The above mentioned circumstances, as Etiebet imagines, could have made Nour confused and scared, when it is only natural for women to be “feel vulnerable even in the best of circumstances”. The said story of Nour is a prominent issue on the “ongoing TIME series, Finding Home”, while Etiebet also stated:
“The series follows the personal journeys of three Syrian women as they experience pregnancy, childbirth and new motherhood while trying to start new lives, away from war”.
According to Etiebet, these stories provide important windows for us to understand the need of “maternal and reproductive health” of refugee women “like Nour”, which are “too easily overshadowed” by the “unprecedented” scale of the “current global refugee crisis”.
Statistically talking, as many as 60% of “all maternal deaths” take place in these backgrounds where “conflict, natural disasters and other humanitarian emergencies” claim over five hundred women’s life on a daily basis throughout the world. However, “these deaths are preventable”, adds Etiebet.
Such incidents leave “serious repercussions”, as in Etiebet’s words:
“What happens to mom affects everybody around her. By taking better care of mothers, we increase the chances that her children stay healthy, get educated and reach their full potential; that they go on to contribute to, or even transform society for good. Saving mothers should be a priority for every country”.
Finding Home is a “powerful” tool for raising awareness through “a few individual birth stories” of women refugees, as they compel us to deepen “our understanding” for taking steps to “end maternity mortality”.
MDM or the “Medecins du Monde” has come up with practical ways which also breaks “cultural barriers” and can help up to look after pregnant women refugees who seek shelter in the EU through Grecian border. With the help of Merck for Mothers, MDM is expanding its “maternal and reproductive health services for refugees and migrants through its clinics and mobile units”.
As per the research of MDM involving “14,000 vulnerable women”, more than fifty percent of these women lacked medical facilities before “Doctors of the World Mother & Child program” came forward. While, MDM board member as well as a “pediatrician-neonatalogist”, Dr. Hara Tziouvaras, informed that refugee women do not often seek required services as they are afraid of discrimination or arrest, while many are simply oblivious of “their rights to receive care”. In Tziouvaras’ words:
“Prenatal care and postnatal care are absolutely essential for these women, and they’re not getting it.”
Furthermore, Tziouvaras also added that besides maternal medical care, refugees also need “contraception and family planning services” as they are deprived of them. Etiebet recounted:
“I recently visited one of the clinics in Athens, Greece, where she (Tziouvaras) volunteers. The waiting room felt more like a community meeting space, a place of safety and trust for these women caught between worlds”.
Based on the findings of MDM, it “issued a set of policy recommendations for European Union member states” which instructs them on the method of removing “barriers to care and ensure equal access”. She also said:
“Key measures include observing patient confidentiality (making residency status immaterial); recruiting bilingual health workers; creating a supranational funding mechanism that would ensure a free package of maternal health care for every vulnerable woman; and expanding the use of electronic health records to facilitate follow-up and continuity of care, which are particularly challenging for women on the move”.