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Rohingya crisis

Expecting mothers, babies suffer most

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UNB, Cox's Bazar :
An expecting mother has to endure various difficulties during her pregnancy even if one remains at her undisturbed home. This suffering becomes far more painful where there is persecution. Who knows it better than Rohingyas women who are delivering premature babies?
Hasina Begum, 24, who fled her village seeking safety in Bangladesh, had never thought she would have to deliver a premature baby being caught in a sudden attack launched by Myanmar security forces on their village in North Maungdaw og Rakhine State. "I can't describe it to you. Your mother can feel the pain," Hasina told UNB hiding her face with her scarf and holding her newborn baby girl on her lap who did not get any chance to meet any doctor yet-neither for herself nor her baby. Hasina, now a mother of two daughters and one son, says Myanmar security forces and Buddhists came to their village- Merullah - on August 26 morning.
"I was running desperately once we heard gunshots. I ran almost half an hour    
and took shelter to a nearby house. My baby was born minutes after I reached the house," she narrated the painful experience she never had while delivering two of her son and daughter in the past.
She said she had gone through various complications after the delivery of her third baby.
"We haven't had a name for the girl yet. You better give one name," Hasina said giving her smiling look at the little child whose future looks uncertain with no shelter for them yet.
"We just arrived yesterday (Saturday) in a boat," Hasina said. "We aren't alone. We're around 50 people from the same village who entered Bangladesh in two boats." Abdul Hamid, father of the newborn baby girl, said they had to pay money to those who helped them get enter Bangladesh. "The entire village was set on fire. We could bring nothing," Hamid said. Responding to a question, he said, they have no plan to go back to their homeland as there is a fear of death. "It's pointless to try to go back there. Nothing is left. Even we might get killed," he said. This correspondent saw a number of newborn babies, either born on the way to Bangladesh or in their villages before leaving for Bangladesh. Many babies are born after their mothers arrive in Bangladesh. The UNB correspondent saw around 500 new arrivals on Sunday morning who took shelter at Teknaf Upazila Awami League office and its surrounding places. "They came here on Saturday night and Sunday morning through Shah Porir Dip," said Abul Kashem, 50. Khashem lost his son Mohammed Ibrahim who came under the line of fire during military attacks on August 28. "I ran away to save my life. I saw my 15-year-old son sustained bullet wounds. I was so cruel to run away leaving my son behind," he said showing his son's photo ID. Khashem feared that his son might have succumbed to wounds. "I don't think I'll get him back."

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