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« I’m MARIAM, A Nomad Girl, Assiduous Client Of The 'Clinic' Of UNFPA To Save My Life And That Of My Future Baby»

We are at the month of May 2016 in the Lake Chad region, specifically in Daresalam camp, a camp of refugees who fled the atrocities of the Nigerian sect Boko Haram. By late morning, the air is very hot. Mariam Assafi, a young girl of about twenty years, is shyly seated on a chair at the entrance of the tent pitched by UNFPA and serving as a reproduction clinical health service provision. She awaits her turn to be received by the midwife for the Prenatal Consultation.

Mariam, a nomad young girl, does not live in the Daresalam camp but frequently comes for prenatal consultation in the "clinic" of UNFPA. Actually, at 25 years old, Mariam is already a mother of two boys and is expecting a third baby of over 32 weeks.
Passing without transition from a smile to a serious mine, Mariam so affected, tells how she contracted her first pregnancy when she was only 15 years old - following a forced marriage -, which had so nearly resulted in complications that could have caused her death and that of her baby.
Five months after that difficult childbirth, her husband left Chad to end up on the side of Libya where he is a trader.
At her husband's return after an absence of 10 years, Mariam contracted her second pregnancy and gave birth to a boy now aged 2 years. Just after the birth of the second child, she had been traumatized by the death from a third delivery of an aunt. According to her: « What the mothers often tell is meaningless. For proof, even after many births that occur well as in the case of my aunt, a woman may well have a pregnancy at risk if she is not followed in a health care facility by qualified personnel».
That is why, since she is pregnant anew, she became a devoted client of the UNFPA "clinic" of Daresalam camp for prenatal consultation sessions.
She says she suffered reprimands of her family, including her own mom when she announced to her that she is being followed in this "health center". Indeed, the previous two deliveries of Mariam had ''gone well'' outside of health facilities to suit the wanderings related to their nomadic life. The death of her aunt convinced her to change her behavior. Though, she is determined to move forward to save her life and that of the ''child'' she carries in her womb for 32 weeks. "My life and that of my baby are worth more than all that can make my family as reprimands", she snapped, with a determined air. And she added with a strong voice to the midwife who was checking her.
"I will continue to come forward my Prenatal Consultation until I gave birth for the first time in a health facility under the care of qualified personnel. I am confident about my survival and that of my unborn baby".