Nanjini KhanJhpiegoFor Najini Khan, December 23, 2009 began like any other: She cleaned the house, fed the goat and cow, bathed her daughter and cooked the main meal. But when her family sat down to eat, the 25-year-old could not join them; her labor pains had grown overwhelming. She asked her husband, Isharat, to call the neighbor who would help bring the newest member of the Khan family into the world. Najini and her husband had decided that a hospital delivery was out of the question, as they had no one to babysit their fiveyear- old daughter.
Najini had received prenatal care at the local health post and learned what to expect from Chandrakali Kurmi, the community health volunteer. The latter had explained to Najini that she could prevent dangerous bleeding after birth by taking three tablets of the drug Misoprostol.
After her lively baby girl was born, Najini took the three white pills, but her bleeding would not stop. Her husband called Chandrakali to help take Najini on a buffalo cart to the hospital nine miles away.
She was immediately taken into the operating room, where the hospital staff removed a piece of the retained placenta. The bleeding stopped.
Says Najini, "Without the information about bleeding, I would not have known when to come to the hospital. I might have died, leaving my two girls to struggle alone."
Stories of Mothers SavedThis story is one of many collected in an initiative organized jointly by the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood ® (WRA) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). WRA members from around the world shared these individual stories of women who have lived to tell their stories - who did not die needlessly in pregnancy or childbirth - due to a key action taken by her, her family, the community, a health worker, a political leader or others.