she pulls on her white coat, grabs her stethoscope, and emerges from the birth house in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The hot air of the Eight-million-capital of blows Afroja hit him. It smells of exhaust fumes and ripe bananas. Today, the midwife visited a 17-day-old boy. The basement room is dark. The fan to push past against the midday heat.

Most mothers, least midwives

“sister, look,” said Afroja to the mother, as she over the face of the infant strokes. “His eyes are yellowish. He needs the light of day.”

“But I can’t get out,” says the 25-Year-old. “Out of so many people.”

“in the Morning, ten minutes, that’s enough,” said Afroja.

you can support the midwives in the case of education and the Council for mothers in Bangladesh. We will forward your help.

Please donate:

IBAN DE20 2007 0000 0469 9500 00 – BIC DEUTDEHH – keyword “midwives”;

Afroja Farce, 23 years old, pink bandana and pink dress, has been working for eight months as a midwife. In time, they brought about a hundred babies to the world. She explains to Pregnant women on neonatal jaundice and helps mothers with Breastfeeding. Birth preparation, care and aftercare – there are the same services offered by well-trained midwives in Cape town, London or Hamburg.

The difference is: In Bangladesh, there were not in this profession until eight years ago. Afroja This is one of the Pioneers of this Profession; politically intended, in order to reduce the maternal mortality in the country. However, Afroja is not only employed in the fight against preventable death. Your profession has in the Muslim country is a side-effect: He emancipated Afroja did not, and their colleagues and the mothers of the district.

Bangladesh had committed itself to the Millennium development goals of the United Nations, including the default, to improve health care for mothers is included. The mortality rate in the country had fallen since the nineties, constantly. However, the intended target of the UN – a reduction in deaths by three-quarters – did not make the country. Every year about 5000 women die of birth-related complications, almost 33 times more than in Germany. Most of the bleed out. By 2015, the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced to public, should work 3000 midwives. The idea behind this was simple: most of The mothers die in the countries with the least number of midwives.

You must not

But the implementation in the densely populated Bangladesh, was more complicated. Almost half of all women give birth at home, assisted by unskilled helpers. Many lives cut off from medical care, behind the impassable roads. Often the husband is not allowed that the woman comes to the hospital. One reason is the cost. The caesarean section rate in some private hospitals at 80 percent. And these are ten times as expensive as natural births. Some maternity wards have Operations, but no delivery rooms.

Afrojas father, a seller of Bicycle accessories, had wished that his middle daughter studied medicine. But her school grades were not sufficient. “The training was a good Alternative,” she says. The three years were free of charge, funded by the British development Ministry. What exactly is a midwife, mind Afroja but, as you learned, for example, as the breastfeeding hormones are influenced by skin contact.


Between the two contractions examined Afroja did not, a high pregnant women in the birth house, in which she is employed. Here alone were born in the past year, more than 500 babies.

©Fabeha Monir

Also, many citizens do not know what exactly makes a midwife. Members questions at birth irritated, where the doctor is staying, told Afroja hit him. Once a mother-in-law called: “How this little girl will bring, unmarried and without children, our grandchildren to the world?” Afroja, 1.52 meters tall and delicate as a 13-Year-old laughs. In the meantime, she was left. “I declare that I trained for births.”

your Knowledge has made you more self-confident. Today, she no longer is on the ground, even if it argues against the traditions of or about Sex talk. She explains to families that newborns don’t tolerate honey. Many believe that children are sweet.

refers to As Afroja, a woman with the suspicion of Syphilis to the hospital, she says: Take your man. What she says: that the husband, a rickshaw driver, is very likely to be prostitutes. In the case of a home visit, a textile worker to become familiar, in the fourth month of pregnancy, Afroja your fear. She is afraid of a renewed miscarriage. “If I sleep, I realize that my husband is listening on the curved belly of the Baby,” she whispers. But with him, your loss of appetite and the nagging fear to discuss? She holds the scarf in front of the mouth. No, don’t go. “We are all women. You don’t have to be ashamed of,” said Afroja.

“Bangladesh is at the beginning of”

Afroja is a quiet campaigner for the rights of women. “Most simply do not know any better,” she says on the way to the birth house. You know that you need to adjust your words. In addition, you need the confidence of the district. That’s why you will be accompanied on the visits, always of a municipality employee, who grew up in the area.


17 days is a Little old, he’s looking for suffers from newborns yellow. Afroja advises his mother.

©Fabeha Monir

Afroja works six days a week, must drive three hours through the perpetual traffic jam of Dhaka. She has rotated splined babies from mothers, bleeding stopped, and to decide when the women have to go to the nearest hospital. She is proud of himself: Not the mother had died with her.

In the night shift, she sleeps in the treatment rooms of the birth centre on the floor. Monthly, she earns the equivalent of 270 euros; only about one-third more than Textile workers. Nevertheless, she says: “I have achieved my goal.” Among their former classmates is the exception. Almost all had wives and had learned a profession. The average age of marriage for women in Bangladesh at the age of 19. That’s why don’t have to commit to the midwives, to marry during the training. “The marriage many of the women locked behind the front door,” said Afroja.

Statistically you can not prove how the midwives affect maternal mortality rate in Bangladesh. Rondi Anderson, a midwife, a specialist of the UN population Fund, Dhaka, hopes that in about ten years. Overall, it took about 20,000 Heba- trunks, to be able to all the mothers care. So far, there are only a tenth of it. However, other difficulties to come. There is no more experienced colleagues, the newly Trained guide. Some of the clinics, the midwives as nurses and not in the delivery room. In addition, drugs that were missing Rondi Anderson says: “Bangladesh is still at the beginning.”

you can support the midwives in the case of education and the Council for mothers in Bangladesh. We will forward your help.

Please donate:

IBAN DE20 2007 0000 0469 9500 00 – BIC DEUTDEHH – keyword “midwives”;

But alone in Afrojas small house of birth, were born last year, more than 500 babies. The families seem to be open, to give birth away from Doctors and traditional birth assistants. Even if it needs a second Generation of midwives in order to establish the Profession – Afroja did not seem to be of the women in the district accepted.


“You know best what to do for your son is right,” encouraged the mother whose Baby suffers from jaundice. “No food in the world can make your child bitter or sweet. It only needs your milk.” She then provides the newborn scale.

3.2 kilograms. The infant has increased. The mother promises that she will go on the next day out. Ten minutes, early in the Morning.


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