Setyelem, a 29-year-old mother of two, faced a harrowing journey during her third pregnancy in Ethiopia. Due to inter-communal fighting in her hometown of Ataye and the subsequent war in Tigray, she couldn’t attend antenatal check-ups, risking potential complications. The conflict damaged health facilities, leading to shortages of essential medical supplies and disrupted hospital referrals.
At seven months pregnant, Setyelem experienced intense pain and sought medical attention twice after her water broke. Thanks to a Abiyot, a midwife trained under a United Nations Population Fund project, she was rushed to a hospital where an emergency Caesarean section was performed, after she presented with obstructed labor. Abiyot, having been trained to deal with complications of pregnancy, ensured that Setyelem survived and delivered healthy twin girls, highlighting the critical need for quality healthcare for pregnant women in conflict zones.
The Village Health Partnership is working to create health systems of care in rural Ethiopia where there are none and to train midwives on the front lines in conflict zones so that pregnant women like Setyelem can access life-saving medical care.