Flooding in east Balochistan, Pakistan: The Story of Amina

Amina*, mother to a one month old baby boy shares her story on how her child came to be admitted at MSF’s hospital in Dera Murad Jamali. Her son was brought to the MSF nursery when he was 10 days old; weighing only 2.36 kg he was diagnosed with Tetanus.

Amina* and her family along with thousands of families have been affected by the floods that swept Nasirabad and Jaffarabad in Balochistan and Sindh in early September. MSF teams expanded their existing service to reach out to the families who were forced to abandon their homes. Clean drinking water, mobile medical clinics providing basic healthcare, distribution of clean delivery kits, ambulatory feeding clinics addressing malnutrition among children under five and distribution of essential items such as soap and jerry cans is part of MSFs ongoing response to this emergency.

“I have been married for two years; this little boy is my first child. I haven’t named him yet, I was not sure if he would survive. I like the name Yaseen and maybe that will be his name.

We have no shade, no home or land; we live on the side of the road and use our beds as a tent. I delivered him under a makeshift tent near the Pat Feeder Canal. There are thousands of families who lost their homes because of the floods and are now living there too.

My husband, Saeed* used to work on our landlord’s land. But the water came; it was shoulder high and we lost everything, even the food we had stored is lost.

Our land owner came down from Karachi to ensure the water was drained from his land so we can return to the land. We don’t have anything to rebuild with and the land owner gave us nothing and he has gone back to Karachi. We are still hopeful that we will get some help.

When my son got sick, I pawned my earrings because we had nothing left to pay the doctors, however when we came to the hospital here, we were told the treatment in the hospital is free, it is free so I used the money from the earrings to buy food instead for our family. It’s been a month since I sold my earrings, now even the food is gone.

After few days after my son was born, he started having fits and had a temperature, we went to a private clinic where they said they couldn’t help us but told us that we should take our son to the MSF hospital because they have a lot of facilities. So  we brought him to the MSF hospital. My son has been here for 25 days now.

Before I brought my son to the hospital he was not drinking any milk, he wasn’t even able to cry. He is my first child. I worry about him – and wonder if he will survive.  Now though he opens his eyes, the nurses have explained that my son can be treated and can now slowly start to feed. We had thought about taking him from the hospital and going home because we didn’t see an immediate change in his health at first.
Change has happened. My son is better. Now we are going to be patient and let the medical staff tell us when our son is ready to leave. I am very relieved and happy to see my son getting better. When I am able to take him home, I plan to celebrate by providing food to people who are poor and less fortunate than my family and I. We may not have anything, but at least we have our son. ‘Only Allah can help us now.’

We are glad we were able to access such good healthcare and know that it has saved our son. ”

*The patient’s name has been changed to protect his anonymity.

MSF has been working in Pakistan since 1986, with Pakistani communities and Afghan refugees affected by armed conflict, natural disasters or who lack access to medical care. MSF teams are currently providing free emergency medical care in Kurram Agency (FATA), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Sindh provinces.

MSF relies solely on private financial contributions from individuals around the world for its work in Pakistan, and does not accept funding from any government, donor agency or military or politically-affiliated group.