It’s 2016 and the battle for Mosul has just begun, with Iraqi forces sweeping through Mosul from the east. Street by street, a city that has been under the control of the Islamic State (IS) group for over two years is retaken by the Iraqi government. The sun has not yet risen when Intissar, a midwife from Mosul, receives a knock at her door. When she answers, a panicked young man and his mother beg her to go with them to assist the man’s teenage wife give birth to her first baby. Intissar is afraid but, with many of Mosul’s gynaecologists and other female medical staff having fled IS rule, and most of the city’s maternity facilities damaged, the need for midwives who can assist at home births has never been greater. Intissar swiftly obliges. Expectant mothers in Mosul, Iraq, just cannot wait | Maternal care | Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) International At one point, Iraq had the best medical care in the region.