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Delivering Babies in Cyclone Mora: Midwives Save Lives | United Nations Population Fund | Bangladesh

Delivering Babies in Cyclone Mora: Midwives Save Lives


“Nobody could sleep. Everyone was talking about the danger signal no. 10 cyclone about to hit. The area still hasn’t recovered from Cyclone Roanu. Would Mora destroy what’s left?”

Nira Khatun, UNFPA-deployed midwife in Moheshkhali, Cox’s Bazar recounts her experience of last week’s Cyclone Mora.

“People were afraid. We wondered what we would have to do to survive. We were thinking about how to deliver babies and about our lives.”

Despite fear, Nira did not abandon her post.

Through the night and next morning she safely delivered two babies and referred another to the upazila health complex. All the while she kept calm, comforting mothers and families. 

Nira is an example of the remarkable commitment and courage of midwives saving the lives of mothers and babies in emergencies.

On the Ground Cyclone Response

UNFPA Bangladesh supports 36 midwives working in disaster-affected regions.

In immediate response to Cyclone Mora, UNFPA is relocating midwives to the hardest hit areas, ensuring safe pregnancies, deliveries and newborn care.

An estimated 4,400 pregnant and lactating women require urgent medical care. Emergency obstetric and newborn care are needed for the 1,400 women who will give birth within the next three months.

So far UNFPA has distributed 300 Clean Delivery Kits with more on the way. These supply all the essential equipment for deliveries.

Additionally, 3,000 Dignity Kits are set to reach girls and women. They include personal hygiene supplies, sanitary napkins, clothing, a flashlight and a whistle.

These lost items prevent girls and women from accessing relief services and public life out of fear of harassment and abuse. Dignity Kits help women maintain their dignity in disaster so they can confidently access water, washrooms and resources.  

Experience shows this kind of violence, especially gender-based violence, increases in the wake of disasters.

In response, UNFPA is working with the Bangladesh government and partners to create safe spaces and community support groups for women and children. UNFPA is also working with police to increase nighttime safety patrols.

Visit UNFPA’s page for more updates on UN Cyclone Mora response.

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