SAVANAKHET PROVINCE, Lao PDR - "The village was full of kids before," said Agnod, 56, in a remote community in the Lao People's Democratic Republic. Nestled in a forest near the border with Viet Nam, the village of Labangkhok is one of the poorest places in the country.
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Jackie knows about heartbreak. She became pregnant in the ninth grade and was forced to leave school. Then, when her baby was nearly two years old, she suddenly fell sick. "I took her to the clinic. But when I came back, she was dead," Jackie told UNFPA.
PHNOM-PENH, Cambodia - "My engine is still working!" a young man in a clinic yelled gleefully, having just testing negative for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Patients in the waiting room turned to gawk at him.
KABUL, Afghanistan - For 49 years, a traumatic childbirth injury left Noorjahan living in the shadows. A prolonged, obstructed labour, and lack of emergency maternal health care, left her with an obstetric fistula - a hole in the birth canal that leaks urine or faeces.
BALAKOH, Afghanistan - It was midnight in the remote Afghan village of Balakoh, and 37-year-old Zainab was entering her tenth hour of labour in her mountainside home.
OBOCK, Djibouti - Four months pregnant and living amidst constant shellings and airstrikes, Jamila decided she had to flee her home in Taizz City, Yemen.
KRAMATORSK, Ukraine - Elena, age 31, found out that she was pregnant with her second child shortly before a ceasefire was declared in Eastern Ukraine last September. Elena's home town of Makiivka had been experiencing heavy, often deadly bombardments with mortars and grenades since the start of the conflict, which marks its second anniversary this April.
Severely traumatized after losing her four-year-old daughter during the April 2015 earthquake in Nepal, Kalpana Shrestha is on the road to recovery today, thanks to psychosocial counselling she received at a UN Women-supported multi-purpose women's centre in Sindhupalchok District. To date, the centre has provided psychosocial counselling to nearly 500 women and young girls.
Natividad Coc believes midwifes are born, not made, and she received the calling herself and went into midwifery training while still a young girl. One sunny afternoon, as she makes her rounds in the mountainous district of Chimaltenango, Guatemala.
One week after Cyclone Winston devastated the island nation of Fiji, Elenoa Adi, age 33, awoke at 4 a.m. to unexpected birth pangs. It was late February, and the baby wasn't due until April.