Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines on November 8th 2013, destroying over a million homes, and hundreds of health facilities. With the destruction 5 million people were left homeless and 3 million women left in need of reproductive health and safe birthing services. An estimated 230,000 pregnant women face increased risks due to interrupted access to health facilities, with 25,000 births expected next month alone. UNFPA is deploying mobile medical teams to provide reproductive health services and distribute supplies such as clean birthing and hygiene kits to help at risk mothers.
For just an $11 donation, UNFPA can produce 3 emergency clean birthing kits that can provide critical help in ensuring the safe delivery and health of three mothers and their babies.
Just two days after the strongest storm ever recorded hit the Filipino city Tacloban, Emily Sagalis, 21 gave birth to a baby girl in a destroyed airport that had been converted into a makeshift clinic. After a wave washed away her home and entire community, Sagalis and her husband took shelter in a school building where she started having labor pains. They walked for several kilometers to find help, and were finally taken by truck to the airport ruins where a military doctor helped her deliver safely.
At the makeshift clinic, holding her baby while a volunteer held an IV drip above them, Sagalis said “She is my miracle. I had thought I would die with her still inside me when high waves came and took us all away.”
Although Sagalis safely delivered her baby, the doctor said both mother and baby are at high risk of infections. The clinic couldn’t help any further, as it had run out of antibiotics. An estimated 230,000 pregnant women like Sagalis are at risk of giving birth in unsterile conditions with limited access to supplies.
Women continue to give birth after disasters no matter how inconvenient or dangerous the circumstances. UNFPA provides expecting mothers with crucial care during humanitarian crisis. UNFPA works to ensure the health and safety of the especially vulnerable displaced women who are pregnant or have young babies.
For $25, UNFPA can supply a woman with hygiene essentials for six months, helping her maintain her dignity in a displaced situation. Please consider making a contribution today. Only with your vital support can we continue to care for mothers and their children in their time of need.
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