Zaatari refugee camp delivers 10 to 13 births per day
A child leans on a rope supporting his new home at Zaatari refugee camp (Albawaba/J. Zach Hollo)
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In a prefabricated clinic at the Zaatari Refugee Camp, Rawan lay in bed on Sunday morning after delivering her first baby.
The 17-year-old Syrian refugee was four months pregnant when she fled the turmoil in her country and sought refuge in Jordan.
Her baby boy was delivered naturally in a labor clinic run by the UNFPA and the Jordan Health Aid Society at the camp.
“Services are good here, and the doctors are doing their best to help alleviate the pain,” Rawan said, adding that although she is still in pain, she is comfortable because “they are taking good care of me and my baby”.
Rawan is one of hundreds of Syrian women who deliver their babies in Zaatari.
“Some of them become pregnant here, while others were pregnant when they arrived,” said Rima Diab, a gynecologist who runs one of the UNFPA delivery clinics in the camp.
Every day, there are 10 to 13 births in Zaatari, according to Zeina Hourani, UNFPA communications official.
She explained that natural deliveries are handled at the labour clinic, which is part of the comprehensive center in Zaatari 3.
Caesarean sections are conducted at the Moroccan or French hospitals at the camp.
Since June 30, the clinic has dealt with 53 births, according to Hourani, who noted that there are two other UNFPA clinics in Zaatari 1 and Zaatari 2, but the only one that is equipped with a delivery room is in Zaatari 3.
Due to the rising number of deliveries, which are expected to reach 30,000 by the end of the year, the UN agency will open another delivery clinic as part of the comprehensive center in Zaatari 4.
“The comprehensive center in Zaatari 4 will operate after two months, and it will be equipped with a delivery room,” Hourani said.
Meanwhile, Diab, who started her work at the UNFPA clinic when the camp opened last July, said most of the Syrian women there refuse to use family planning devices.
She explained that efforts to educate them on the importance of family planning to their health do not get through to all.
“Some of them even come to us asking for help to get pregnant, and to remove the device if they are using one,” Diab added.
Every day, up to 80 women, most of them pregnant, come to the clinic seeking treatment, she noted, adding that three gynecologists and three midwives work in the clinic, which operates 24/7.
The camp, which is located in Mafraq Governorate some 80km northeast of Amman, is currently home to more than 160,000 Syrian refugees.