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Birth in the desert: Team of nurses, Zoom deliver baby in al-Rukban

Syrians stranded in al-Rukban camp near the border with Jordan have been living under harsh conditions for years, and even childbirth has become very risky.
Syrian refugee patients from the makeshift Rukban camp, which lies in no-man's-land off the border between Syria and Jordan in the remote northeast, cross over to visit a UN-operated medical clinic immediately on the Jordanian-side for checkups, on March 1, 2017.
Conditions in the Rukban camp deteriorated sharply after Jordan sealed its border almost a year prior, following a cross-border jihadist attack that killed seven Jordanian border guards in June 2016. / AFP PHOTO / KHALIL MAZRAAWI        (Photo cred

When Reem Ibrahim’s contractions started on the morning of Nov. 28, she was filled with a deep fear. She had just entered her 40th week of pregnancy and her approaching due date — normally a source of happiness and celebration — had only increased her feelings of dread.

Ibrahim, 30, required a cesarean section for a successful delivery. In most contexts, this would be a safe and routine procedure. However, Ibrahim lives in al-Rukban camp, a makeshift settlement located in a desolate strip of no-man’s-land between Syria and Jordan. Despite its 10,000 residents, al-Rukban does not have a single doctor or a hospital and suffers dire shortages in medical supplies.

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