A Pakistani woman who lost her pregnancy due to floods and still suffering health crisis
Numerous thousands of women continue to experience reproductive problems and escalating mental health challenges.
Pakistan's Islamabad - Hasina Mugheri has been back in her village in Sindh, a province in southern Pakistan that was devastated by massive flooding in August, for two weeks.
Mugheri relives the pain of the night she and her family had to flee their house in the village of Khair Muhammed Mugheri due to the rising, rushing floodwaters every day. She was ten weeks pregnant.
“We did eventually manage to find [a] roof over our heads, so I am very grateful to god for that,” said the 42-year-old.
“But it cost me my child.”
Mugheri described how she, her husband, and 21 family members spent the night in the open before traveling more than five kilometers (three miles) in the rain and pitch-blackness to a government school in the city of Johi, where they were able to find shelter.
"I started bleeding two days after being there and requested my husband to take me to the hospital. The physicians said that stress and all the walking may have contributed to [my] pregnancy's loss. But aside from praying, what else can I do right now?" Mugheri asked.
Mugheri's miscarriage served as a bitter reminder of her village's most recent significant flood, which occurred in 2010. She also lost a baby that was only seven days old later.
She claimed that the continuous trauma had driven her deeper into depression.
My last daughter was born nine years ago. I've previously experienced several miscarriages. When situations like these happen, you always hope for the best and look forward to becoming a mother once more, she recounted.
"I was basically totally confined to a bed in a crowded room, with no privacy, and nowhere to grieve."
One of the five million women of reproductive age who are presently residing in subpar conditions in Pakistan's flood-affected regions, the bulk of whom are in the worst-affected province of Sindh, is Mugheri.
In the flood-affected areas of Pakistan, more than 400,000 women are already pregnant, and another 136,000 are projected to give birth in the following three months, according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
Women's mental health is what worries Dr. Nighat Shah, a specialist in women's health connected to Karachi's Aga Khan Hospital, more than issues with maternal and reproductive health.
"We have visited numerous camps throughout Sindh where thousands of stranded women are living in appalling conditions and the displacement has greatly traumatized them," she said.
There is little hope for the millions of people who lost their possessions and means of support, even though the floodwaters have started to recede and many people are now able to return to what is left of their homes.
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