Expectant Mothers Brave Floods to Deliver in Central Vietnam Hospital

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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flood in central vietnam 18 expectant mothers give birth in inundated hospital

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

Lying next to her newborn, Luong recalls the challenges she and her family faced to reach Cam Xuyen General Hospital, which was located 10km away from their house. On the morning of October 19, in the midst of heavy rain, Luong went into labor. Her husband quickly got them both raincoats and rode her on his motorbike to the hospital.

“When we were just a few meters away from the hospital, the roads were heavily flooded. We had to wade through the floodwater, despite the difficulties and my excruciating contractions,” Luong recalled.

“Even the hospital’s yard was flooded. Luckily, the hospital provided us with a boat ride. We finally made it to the obstetrics department,” she said.

Luong acknowledged the dangers of moving around during severe flooding, but she had no choice but to overcome the heavy rains and rising floodwaters in order to give birth.

“This delivery was twice as difficult as a normal one. Other expectant mothers who were due during this time also faced the same struggles,” she explained.

flood in central vietnam 18 expectant mothers give birth in inundated hospital

Nguyen Thi Luong with her newborn. (Photo: Thanh Nien)

Nguyen Thi Yen, a 67-year-old mother-in-law of another pregnant woman in Cam Xuyen, Ha Tinh province, shared her unforgettable experience while caring for her daughter-in-law in the hospital.

She mentioned how quickly the floodwaters rose on Monday morning, inundating the entire first floor of Cam Xuyen Hospital and damaging all the wooden furniture, such as patient beds, chairs, and medical supplies. However, all the patients, including her daughter-in-law and 8-day-old grandchild, were safely moved to the second floor.

flood in central vietnam 18 expectant mothers give birth in inundated hospital

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

The unexpected flood caught everyone off guard. For two days, all medical staff, patients, and caregivers had nothing to eat but instant noodles and milk. With no electricity, the hospital had to rely on generators to provide lighting and operate the remaining medical equipment on the second floor.

“I have never experienced anything like this in my entire career. The flood kept us in the hospital for days, while some of my colleagues were unable to reach us,” said Nguyen Thi Hong Linh, the head of nursing at Cam Xuyen General Hospital. She added that the hospital staff was under immense pressure to clean and resume the facility’s operations. She also mentioned that there may be more expectant women in need of their help in the future.

On the morning of October 21, Le Ngoc Chau, the Director of Ha Tinh Health Department, visited and encouraged the doctors and medical staff at Cam Xuyen General Hospital. Chau also sent staff from local medical facilities and hospitals to assist Cam Xuyen Hospital with cleaning and rearranging furniture.

flood in central vietnam 18 expectant mothers give birth in inundated hospital

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