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Flood in Central Vietnam: 18 expectant mothers give birth in inundated hospital

October 23, 2020 | 08:37

Nguyen Thi Luong was among the 18 expectant mothers in Ha Tinh who waded through kilometers of deluge water and gave birth to healthy baby, notwithstanding the shortage of medical equipment during flooding season.

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18 healthy babies were born in two days in Cam Xuyen General Hospital amidst heavy flood (Photo: Thanh Nien)
18 healthy babies were born in two days in Cam Xuyen General Hospital amidst heavy flood (Photo: Thanh Nien)

Lying next to her newborn, Luong still clearly remembers the moments she and her family struggled to reach Cam Xuyen General Hospital, 10km away from her house. On October 19 morning, while it’s pouring outside, Luong went into labor. Her husband hurriedly put on raincoat, one for her, one for himself, rode her to the hospital on his motorbike.

When it’s just several more meters to reach the hospital, the roads were heavily flooded. We had to wade through the floodwater, of course with difficulties and worries as you know, I was suffering from excruciating contractions”, Luong recalled.

Even the hospital’s yard was in inundation. Luckily, the hospital offered us a boat ride. We finally made it to the obstetrics department”, she was quoted by Thanh Nien as saying.

Luong admitted that it’s dangerous to move around during such severe flooding, but it’s impossible to stop the laboring. She had no choice but to conquer the heavy rains and rising floodwater.

This delivery was twice as difficult as the normal one. Other expectant mothers who are due in this time also share my struggle”, she said.

Nguyen Thi Luong and her newborn (Photo: Thanh Nien)
Nguyen Thi Luong and her newborn (Photo: Thanh Nien)

Nguyen Thi Yen, 67, a mother-in-law of another pregnant woman in Cam Xuyen, Ha Tinh province, said the past few days in hospital tending for her daughter-in-law was unforgettable.

In a statement with Thanh Nien, she recalled how quickly the floodwater rose Monday morning. The water inundated the entire first floor of Cam Xuyen hospital, damaging all woodenware like patient beds, chairs, and medical supplies, equipment as well. However, all patients, including her daughter-in-law and 8-day-old grandchild, were taken to the second floor safe and sound.

Nguyen Thi Yen and her newly-born grandchild (Photo: Thanh Nien)
Nguyen Thi Yen and her newly-born grandchild (Photo: Thanh Nien)

The sudden inundation left everyone unprepared. Within two days, all medical personnel, patients and caregivers had nothing to eat but instant noodles and milk. Electricity cut out, the hospital had to use generators to illuminate and run the remaining medical equipment on the second floor.

I’ve never experienced anything like this in my entire career. The flood kept us staying for days in the hospital, while some of my colleagues could not get in”, Nguyen Thi Hong Linh, head of nursing at Cam Xuyen General Hospital said, adding that the hospital employees were under unprecedented pressure to clean and resume the facility’s operation. “There might be more expectant women that need our help in the incoming time”, she explained.

On October 21 morning, Le Ngoc Chau, Director of Ha Tinh Health Department, had visited and encouraged doctors and medical staff at Cam Xuyen General Hospital. Chau also dispatched staff from local medical facilities and hospitals to help Cam Xuyen Hospital clean and rearrange furniture.

Hospital staff cleaning the facility (Photo: Thanh Nien)
Hospital staff cleaning the facility (Photo: Thanh Nien)
Flood in Central Vietnam: 18 expectant mothers give birth in inundated hospital
(Photo: Thanh Nien)
Flood in Central Vietnam: 18 expectant mothers give birth in inundated hospital
(Photo: Thanh Nien)
Flood in Central Vietnam: 18 expectant mothers give birth in inundated hospital
(Photo: Thanh Nien)
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Jasmine Le