Shafiqah Ahmed Abdullah is a 31 year old mother of four and holds a midwifery diploma. She was amongst the top students in her college. She earned her diploma supported by a scholarship from the Social Fund for Development as it was difficult for her and her family to secure the required expenses.
Shafiqah works as a midwife since she graduated in 2007 and is from Himair mountain village, a small town in Maqbanah area in Taizz Governorate, central Yemen. When she started her career, Shafiqah faced enormous challenges because of the lack of trust from the community owing to her young age and community inclination for traditional birth attendants.
However, thanks to her emotional intelligence, Shafiqah succeeded to overcome these initial obstacles, gaining the trust of her future clients not only in her community but throughout neighboring villages lacking health services.
After nine years of experience, Shafiqah now runs her own clinic equipped with all necessary equipment for safe delivery and maternal health. She has helped delivering more than 341 babies and referred over 25 complicated cases to the nearest secondary health facilities. Throughout the duration of the conflict, Shafiqah continued her work promoting safe delivery of babies and maternal health in places where the state has collapsed and civilians bear mounting hardships.
At the start of her career, Shafiqah contracted loans in order to equip her clinic and income was not big at the beginning as communities struggle to make a living, yet alone to invest in healthcare.
Therefore, Shafiqah provided her services for free and sometimes she provided free medicine too for those who could not afford it. She would walk for hours in the mountainous terrain to attend emergency cases, with fees received barely covering running expenses. With time and devotion, she established her reputation and earned trust.
In addition, she also expanded her services to include awareness raising about reproductive health and other health-related topics relevant to her communty. Now, Shafiqah turned a vital service into an income-generating opportunity and provides critical healthcare to women from far-reaching villages, even in times of war.
Shafiqah has not only earned the trust of the community and clients but was also recognised by the local Ministry of Health Office in her district, the National Yemen Midwifery Association and UNDP. She has been one of the most active midwives affiliated with the Health Office providing complete reports on handled cases. When UNDP started its midwifery support programme, Shafiqah was identified as a top candidate for additional business training to expand her clinic.
Through Yemen Our Home, Shafiqah and others are provided with additional skills to effectively run their businesses and grants to upgrade their equipment, making sure that rural babies in Taizz are in safe hands.
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