Over the last few weeks, the U.S. Administration and other governmental authorities have referred to reports from several agencies, including Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), while stating that the use of chemical weapons in Syria was "undeniable", and it now seems that U.S. missile strikes in Syria are imminent.
This latest attack and subsequent massive medical need come on top of an already catastrophic humanitarian situation, characterized by extreme violence, displacement, and deliberate destruction of medical facilities.
Pregnancy, labor and delivery, and breastfeeding do not stop when war begins. The mothers in Syria have been suffering for years in this protracted conflict, and COHI will continue to offer targeted support to mamas, babies, and midwives in this time of fear, anxiety, and real danger.
A common obstacle to positive pregnancy outcomes during such protracted conflicts is that women aren’t able to see a healthcare provider during their pregnancy. Women don’t know whether their baby is healthy, and therefore they're extremely anxious. The combination of psychological and physical stress is very dangerous.
The risks of delivering without a skilled birth attendant are dangerously high in situations such as this, and even higher in the places most refugees are settling, where living conditions are often extremely precarious. The cramped and often unsanitary conditions carry risks for pregnant women.
Humanitarian agencies are seeing increased reproductive tract infections among women, partly because they've had no access to care during their pregnancy and because of their poor access to water facilities and hygiene.
In general, untreated infections are one of the leading causes of premature delivery. Malnutrition is another cause for premature delivery when refugee women cannot afford basic food, which makes it harder for a baby to grow and for a woman to maintain her own health during her pregnancy. Such environments also increase the cases of malnourished newborns.
COHI aims to secure emergency funding, food, water, and medical supplies that will be delivered through a local implementation organization inside of Syria. COHI has already delivered diapers, food aid, and solar powered lights and flashlights for use in clinics. With your help, let's get these midwives, physicians, mamas, and babies the food, medical supplies, and support they need.
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