Patient name: Hala, born January 1990
The birth of a live female
It’s the first thing I see when I check my phone after lunch. A picture of a newborn baby girl, the daughter of a woman called Hala. She’s swaddled in the traditional way. She’s warm, healthy, and by the time I see the photo in the afternoon, she will soon be going home from the hospital with her family.
You might not have been the one to drive Hala to the hospital. You might not have held her hand as she moved through waves of contractions. But Hala was able to give birth to her daughter in a clean, safe hospital delivery room because you made it possible.
Hala lives in a village along the Baghdad to Mosul corridor, now notorious for the path of destruction made first by ISIS, and later in their wake, by Iraqi and coalition soldiers who moved north through the country recapturing territory on their march to free Mosul.
In the midst of war, you showed up in the shadow of those soldiers. When new checkpoints were established after territory was liberated, you provided shade to families fleeing the violence in the summer’s heat. You provided food and emergency health care when they were hungry and desperate.
Every week, you are helping to welcome around 120 babies into the world, in hospitals along the notorious Baghdad to Mosul corridor!
As the situation stabilized, and ISIS ceased to rule over Iraqi territory, you helped to rebuild destroyed health care centers along that same corridor. You helped to staff hospitals and clinics, and created safe spaces for women fleeing gender-based violence.
You made it possible for thousands of families to return home to communities destroyed by war. Because of you, parents didn’t have to choose between moving home to rebuild their lives and having access to basic medical care for their children. Families didn’t have to wait for years, perhaps even decades, for the government to have the necessary funds to rebuild what ISIS destroyed, in order to get back to the essential business of living and investing in their communities.
And now you’re continuing to bridge the gap made by war, giving moms the chance to have safe births.There are so many elements of medical infrastructure that need to be rebuilt because of war–it can’t all happen at the same time. Some needs have to be prioritized, and some needs have to wait. Iraqis and Syrians understand that. We understand that. But for moms who now live several hours away from hospitals with staffed maternity wards because their nearest hospital was bombed, the wait can be deadly.
You can probably imagine the risks involved when women have to give birth without support at home, or on the way to a hospital hours away. The risks are high for healthy pregnancies and uncomplicated deliveries, let alone for women who run into trouble and need an emergency surgery to help with the birth.
This is where you are stepping in.
Every week, you are helping to welcome around 120 babies into the world, in hospitals along the notorious Baghdad to Mosul corridor! And we recently we ushered the 1000th new life into the arms of their mom.
You are staffing maternity wards with doctors, nurses, and cleaners, to make sure that babies have the safe start to life they need. You allow babies to get blood sugar and thyroid tests, and jaundice tests if they look yellow. You allow moms to get emergency surgeries if their babies become distressed during birth, and monitoring afterward so complications can be caught early.
Communities recovering from war need sustainable investment that can be carried on into the future. They need future-facing solutions, not temporary stop-gap measures. You can be part of the solution. Your donations can provide clean maternity wards, staffed by local professionals, providing safe births for families in traumatized communities.
You can make sure that families like Hala’s don’t have to face this critical time alone.