Mother Ganga and her little baby Vision, amongst the rubble of their village in Nepal. Photo by Kayla Robertson, World Vision
In the wake of death and destruction following Nepal’s devastating earthquake, a tiny vision has arrived in the remote mountainous village of Sugura.
A baby boy called Vision, and his mother Ganga, survived a two day labour, just four days after the April 25 earthquake that killed more than 8,500 people.
“I sat outside on the dirt labouring for two days with only my children and sister-in-law for company,” Ganga said.
“It was only when several engineers came to visit our home to make an assessment that they saw what was happening and an ambulance was called.”
Perched on top of a mountain several hours drive from the nearest village Sindhuli, the tiny community of farming families has limited healthcare and education services and consists simply of mud-brick houses and crops of maize, wheat and corn. It’s one example of countless communities dotted across Nepal’s mountainous landscape.
“We live on top of a high mountain and my sister-in-law had to carry me down on a stretcher – I thought I was going to die from the pain,” Ganga said.
“Eventually I reached the ambulance and they drove me to the Sindhuli health post, where doctors and nurses eventually delivered my baby boy at 7:30pm.
“He didn’t scream for three hours – they thought he wasn’t alive. Finally he cried, and I was able to name him Vision after the role that World Vision played in his delivery.”
Across this valley there are five women heavily pregnant, unable to access health facilities in one of the most remote parts of the country. It’s more than an hour hike down the mountain and a two-hour drive to the nearest health post in Sindhuli, so expectant mothers remain at home to give birth. With the earthquake destroying scores of houses in this area, women are now forced to give birth out in the open.
Sadly World Vision is hearing stories of women in Nepal giving birth to stillborn babies and experiencing miscarriages following the earthquake. Up to 90 percent of rural health posts have been affected and remaining services are overwhelmed with people injured in the earthquake.
Pregnant women, newborns and lactating mothers are particularly vulnerable; they’re in emotional distress; their homes have collapsed; many have lost loved ones; they’re finding it difficult to access nutritious foods and; they are living in the open, leaving mother and baby at risk of infection and bacteria.
Nepal was struck by a second devastating 7.3 magnitude earthquake on May 12 resulting in further deaths and destruction. World Vision has responded with emergency supplies including temporary shelters such as tarps and tents, blankets, household kits, mosquito nets and food items.
World Vision was able to assist Ganga with emergency shelter for her and her young family by carrying the supplies on the hour long hike up the mountain.
“I’m too worried to take my 17-day-old son into the crumbling house so we’re still sleeping under the tarp,” Ganga said. “Of course I’m terrified, I’m living there with a small baby in my arms. Every night, while the children are asleep, I stay awake fearing another earthquake and just hoping they’ll be okay.”
You can support World Vision’s response to the Nepal Earthquake by making a donation to our appeal today.
This article was originally published in Mamamia and was republished with their permission.