Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MScN)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Rafat Jan


School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


Background: Pakistan is one of the countries that is most susceptible to the effects of climate change. The country’s Northern regions have experienced several extreme cold weather events, including floods, heavy snowfall, and heavy rains, in recent years, significantly impacting maternal and infant health. Indigenous child-bearing age women in the northern rural areas are the most vulnerable populations experiencing food insecurity, disruptive food systems, increasing food prices, and disrupting food production due to climate change exacerbation.
Aim of the study: The study aimed to explore the experiences of indigenous women with maternal nutrition in harsh winter caused by climate change in rural Bajaur, Pakistan.
Methodology: An exploratory descriptive qualitative (EDQ) design was used in the study. The study was conducted in the Public Rural Center Health of Pashat, Bajaur. A total of 12 study participants were included in the study, through the purposive sampling technique. Data was collected through an in-depth semi-structured interview guide. The collected data was analyzed manually through Content analysis approaches.
Results: The findings revealed four major themes: (i) Impact of climate change on food security and navigating strategies ii) Climatic impact on maternal health, pregnancy outcomes, and infant well-being iii) Effect of climate change on household food expenditures iv) Dietary patterns and their significance during pregnancy. The findings also established that the study participants experienced maternal malnutrition and food insecurity, which subsequently increased the risk of preterm births and stillbirths during severe winters. Additionally, children also grappled with malnutrition issues in the winter months due to the scarcity of fruits and vegetables in snowy conditions.
Conclusion: The study has uncovered many challenges faced by the rural women of Bajaur. Both existing literature and current study findings highlight the importance of addressing food insecurity related to heavy snowfall, rainfall, and prolonged freezing temperatures during winter. These weather conditions have adverse effects on maternal health and pregnancy outcomes. The study also directs policymakers and stakeholders to formulate and execute climate-smart agricultural policies, and food-sustainable programs in the context of climate change. The study also suggests assisting rural populations in adapting to climate change by providing them with information and strategies for adapting to the climate change impact.