Pakistan only has 1,795 gynecologists, mostly concentrated in urban areas, and 215,806 nurses and midwives to cater to the 13,000 babies born each day.
In the early hours of October 17, Sameera Bibi went into labour. Her husband, a construction worker, rushed her in a rickshaw to the Tehsil Headquarter Hospital in Raiwind, on the outskirts of Lahore. On the way there, the couple were anxious and excited. There was little to worry about. The doctors had promised a successful and safe delivery. But on arriving at the hospital, panic set in. At 6 AM in the morning, none of the obstetricians were available. Neither were there any ambulances that could take Bibi to another hospital. Eventually, the woman, doubled over in pain, was sent to sit outside on the pavement, where she was forced to deliver her child, unattended and with only her husband by her side.