Camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan celebrates 5,000 safe births

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Baby Rima was the 5,000th child born at the Zaatari refugee camp. Photo: UNFPA Jordan.

The largest refugee camp in the Middle East is celebrating a milestone: the safe delivery of more than 5,000 babies since 2013.

A girl called Rima, who came into the world just over a week ago, was the 5,000th baby born at the Zaatari Camp in Jordan.

The camp is home to nearly 80,000 people who have fled the conflict in Syria.

Dianne Penn reports.

The reproductive health clinic at the Zaatari Camp has welcomed 50 more babies since little Rima's birth on 21 February.

The 24-bed facility is supported by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).

It is staffed by 39 Jordanian gynaecologists, paediatricians and other health professionals who work around the clock.

UNFPA is proud that no woman has died giving birth there in the nearly three years that the clinic has been open.

Dr. Shible Sahbani is UNFPA's Humanitarian Coordinator in Jordan and South Syria.

"This milestone, it represents and it shows the quality of services provided to women Syrian refugees in the camp. For us, it means we reached a good achievement, but at the same time it shows that we have to improve our services to keep the standards, the high-quality standards, and also to have this service within a comprehensive programme to address all the issues related to reproductive health but also to gender-based violence and other women's issues."

Although pleased with the clinic's record of safe deliveries, UNFPA is concerned about what it called the “significant number” of women under 18 years old who are giving birth.

They account for five per cent of all deliveries there.

The agency is working with partners to provide women camp residents with information on reproductive health issues.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’34″


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