class=”pg-headline”>Away from threat of Islamist violence or floods, health risks for pregnant women in Nigeria’s refugee camps remain high 

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Aisha with five of her children The space initially set up as a birthing suite at the camp was rudimentary and barely hygienic, explains Liyatu Ayuba, appointed the camp ‘s Women’s Leader by the site’s Chairman when she arrived in 2014. She has since handled issues regarding health, food or children on behalf the IDPs.   “It was a tent that we swept, and I would put a mat or wrapper on the floor for the women to lie down on to give birth,” says Ayuba, who for much of the camp’s history has been its only birth attendant.

Many of the displaced women refer to her as Mama.   Ayuba says the tent was a shanty built with corrugated roofing sheets and a sandy floor. If gloves were available, fuck me daddy the birth attendant used them and if not, she explains that she covered her hands with polythene bags and cut umbilical cords with a razor blade.  “I gave birth to three of [my children] with Mama’s help on a mat under the shelter,” Aliyu tells CNN, referring to the birthing tent.

“Mama cut the umbilical cord and bathed the baby.”   In 2019, a non-governmental organization set up the camp’s health post where Aliyu’s ninth child, Hauwa, was delivered in 2021. The post is a small clinic located inside a repurposed 20ft shipping container, where wooden boards partition the space to create a delivery suite which looks more like a storage space and just about holds a bed, a baby cot, a drip stand, a broken chair, a trolley and empty containers that should contain water.

The other half is the consultation room with a table, two chairs, a bed, and a cupboard where medicines and devices are kept.     Though basic, the clinic at least provides a consultation space that women previously had to make do without and Ayuba is proud to say the camp has not recorded any deaths among mothers or babies under her watch.  The makeshift delivery room partitioned in the shipping container used as the camp’s health post ‘No ‘special arrangement’ for those who are pregnant in Nigeria’s camps Aliyu is one of many internally displaced women bearing children in Nigeria’s camps, with some grounds not even housing a health post or shelter for birth, instead needing women to go into labour in their own shelters or that of their birth attendant.  A 2021 PhD thesis by Fatima Mahmood Jibirilla at Walden University, states that women living in IDP camps in Nigeria “have a higher risk of maternal death than women living in their homes.” The author cited a range of factors increasing the risk of maternal and neonatal deaths in these settings, including inadequate prenatal care services and limited family planning programs.   “There are no special arrangements for pregnant women in IDP and refugee camps [in Nigeria].

There are poor antenatal services that are inadequate to detect and address likely pregnancy-related complications and other signs of poor pregnancy outcomes,” the author writes. While there have been no maternal or infant deaths at Durumi on her watch, according to Ayuba, multiple doctors volunteering there and across camps in Abuja corroborated the concerns highlighted in the study to CNN.   In a country that has long had among the highest maternal mortality rates in the world and has the third highest number of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Africa as of the end of 2022, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), the lack of adequate maternal healthcare provision in these camps is a significant concern, one of the doctors told CNN.