A Day after Giving Birth, Afghan Midwife Is Back on the Job

Hawa is a 37-year-old midwife working in an unsafe region of Afghanistan, a country that has some of the most alarming health indicators in the world, particularly among women and children. While progress is being made, there is a critical dearth of skilled female health workers in rural areas.

Hawa is one such example. She is the only midwife at her rural health clinic. This past winter, she gave birth to her own baby girl and went home to recover.

The next day, Hawa received word that two women who had given birth at home had come to the clinic suffering from severe bleeding after birth, or postpartum hemorrhage. She didn’t hesitate to go immediately to the clinic. Putting her midwifery skills into action, Hawa saved the two women’s lives. Despite having a newborn at home, Hawa decided to remain at the clinic to care for other mothers who also needed her services.

It is this dedication to her calling as a midwife—putting her patients first—that sets Hawa apart. In recognition of her commitment, the Afghan Midwives Association nominated her for a certificate of appreciation.