Bhong, Rahimyar Khan: On May 5th each year, midwives, women, girls, partners and supporters of midwives and midwifery globally come together to celebrate the International Day of the Midwife-a day to celebrate the achievements of midwives and their contribution to improving reproductive, maternal and newborn health outcomes and contribution towards equity in women’s health.
We, at the Indus Hospital, are celebrating the work of our midwives at our midwife-run labor room in Bhong who have struggled to continue to provide maternal and newborn care to families even in challenging times of Covid-19. The maternal and newborn mortality rate in Bhong, District Rahimyar Khan is extremely high because of the lack of availability of quality delivery services. Majority of the deliveries conducted were either conducted at home by traditional birth attendants or at basic government maternity homes where women are treated poorly and give birth in unsterile environments.
The Indus Hospital Bhong, Al Ghazi Trust started a midwife-run labour room after much demand from the community for free high quality birthing services. The program is run by a team of five midwives from the area who were provided with intensive training. The midwives provide antenatal care and ultrasound services to women throughout their pregnancy and run a labor room 24/7 followed by post-delivery check-ups, newborn care checks, and lactation support.
Since its inception in 2019, the midwifery program has conducted more than 7,500 antenatal appointments and above 300 safe deliveries and health babies. They have transformed the entire maternal health landscape of Bhong and surrounding villages by following the midwifery model of care and providing quality maternal and newborn health services through respectful maternity care.