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Rural women's experience of living and giving birth in relief camps in Pakistan

Maheen, Humaira and Hoban, Elizabeth 2017, Rural women's experience of living and giving birth in relief camps in Pakistan, PloS currents: Disasters, vol. 1, pp. 1-15, doi: 10.1371/currents.dis.7285361a16eefbeddacc8599f326a1dd.

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Title Rural women's experience of living and giving birth in relief camps in Pakistan
Author(s) Maheen, Humaira
Hoban, Elizabeth
Journal name PloS currents: Disasters
Volume number 1
Start page 1
End page 15
Total pages 15
Publisher Public Library of Science
Place of publication San Francisco, Calif.
Publication date 2017-01-31
ISSN 2157-3999
Summary Background: Women are more vulnerable than men in the same natural disaster setting. Preexisting gender inequality, socio-cultural community dynamics and poverty puts women at significant risk of mortality. Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable because of their limited or no access to prenatal and obstetric care during any disaster or humanitarian emergency setting.

Methods: In-depth interviews were conducted with 15 women who gave birth during the 2011 floods in Sindh Province, Pakistan. Thematic analysis explored women’s experiences of pregnancy and giving birth in natural disaster settings, the challenges they faced at this time and strategies they employed to cope with them.

Results: Women were not afforded any control over decisions about their health and safety during the floods. Decisions about the family’s relocation prior to and during the floods were made by male kin and women made no contribution to that decision making process. There were no skilled birth attendants, ambulances, birthing or breastfeeding stations and postnatal care for women in the relief camps. Women sought the assistance of the traditional birth attendants when they gave birth in unhygienic conditions in the camps.

Conclusion:
The absence of skilled birth attendants and a clean physical space for childbirth put women and their newborn infants at risk of mortality. A clean physical space or birthing station with essential obstetric supplies managed by skilled birth attendants or community health workers can significantly reduce the risks of maternal morbidity and mortality in crisis situations.
Language eng
DOI 10.1371/currents.dis.7285361a16eefbeddacc8599f326a1dd
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
0603 Evolutionary Biology
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2017, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30100071

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
Population Health
Open Access Collection
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.