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Apr 9, 2019

Healing After Cyclone Idai

Tina and her family with a UNFPA dignity kit
Tina and her family with a UNFPA dignity kit

In Mozambique, Tina was nine-months pregnant when her home began to flood from Cyclone Idai. She and her four children ran through the storm to safety in a nearby school. Soon after, Tina felt contractions begin and knew that she was going into labor. 

The winds and flooding from the cyclone made it impossible for an ambulance to reach her at the school. Instead, a motorcycle taxi rushed her through the floodwaters to the Matundo Health Center, where she safely delivered her baby girl, Joana. 

At Matundo, Tina received a dignity kit from UNFPA to help her care for herself and for her baby. Dignity kits contain items like clean underwear, soap, laundry detergent, a safety whistle, and a flashlight.  

For only $15, you can empower one woman with a dignity kit, helping her feel clean and in control, even in times of crisis. 

Cyclone Idai struck Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe in March 2019. The storm lasted just over two weeks, but the devastation will take much longer to recover from—torrential rains have caused intense flooding, infrastructure has been damaged beyond recognition. Fields, the main source of income for these agricultural communities, have been destroyed, and over 2 million people have been displaced or otherwise impacted.  

Women have been hit especially hard by Cyclone Idai and face unique obstacles in the aftermath of the storm. Nearly 500,000 women have been affected, including 75,000 pregnant women who have been left without access to reproductive healthcare.  

One in ten of those women could face life-threatening complications for themselves and their babies.  

UNFPA is supporting nineteen mobile clinics in hard-to-reach areas of Mozambique. These clinics have enough health kits to reach more than 300,000 people.  

$50 makes it possible for UNFPA to give ten women clean delivery kits. These kits have a plastic sheet, gloves, a razor, and a blanket to prevent infection during childbirth.  

Tina says, “It would be good if these were made available not only in times of crisis but in good times as well. Being clean and taking care of oneself is important for women and even more so for a newborn baby.” 

You can empower women. You can make the world safer for mothers and babies. You can help UNFPA change a life.

Aerial view of the damage to Beira Sofala province
Aerial view of the damage to Beira Sofala province

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Jan 7, 2019

Pregnant and Afraid in Rural Kenya

Lena with her newborn son
Lena with her newborn son

Lena was in the final days of her pregnancy when violence struck her community in rural Kenya. Cattle rustlers attacked her village, setting her home on fire. 

“The only thing I managed to grab before dashing out of the hut was my bag, which had my personal items,” said Lena.  

The contents of that bag, which were supplied by UNFPA, ended up saving Lena’s life. 

Around the world, UNFPA provides women like Lena with clean delivery kits, which contain all the essential items for a safe delivery.  

The kits contain essential items necessary for a safe birth, including sterile gloves, a blanket, a plastic sheet, and soap. For only $11 you can help UNFPA provide three emergency clean delivery kits to women without access to maternal health services. 

Lena was separated from her family and had to hide in the bushes. “I was alone and afraid,” she said. And while she was hiding, she went into labor. 

“I remember crying at the top of my voice,” she said. “I was sure I was going to die, unless I got help.” 

Thankfully, a neighbor heard Lena’s cries for help. Because of UNFPA’s clean delivery kit, the neighbor was able to help her give birth safely. 

A donation of only $25 can provide one woman in a humanitarian or rural setting with a dignity kit that offers flashlights and hygiene essentials, ensuring that she can maintain her dignity, health, and security in emergency situations.  

In Kenya alone, UNFPA is hard at work ensuring that every woman can give birth safely. Within the last year, UNFPA provided 22,000 women in the country with lifesaving reproductive health services. 

But there is so much more work to be done. With 830 women dying every day from unsafe pregnancy and childbirth, more than 500 of those deaths occur in emergency situations like Lena’s. 

Can you make a donation today and help support UNFPA’s work making every child birth safe? 

A displacement camp in Chemolingot, Kenya
A displacement camp in Chemolingot, Kenya

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Oct 11, 2018

Reaching "forgotten" Rohingya in Myanmar cut off from critical maternal care

Phu Tu Nee gave birth w a UNFPA clean delivery kit
Phu Tu Nee gave birth w a UNFPA clean delivery kit

Phu Tu Nee is 19 years old and pregnant in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. She is one of the estimated 300,000 “forgotten” Rohingya who remain confined to camps and villages in Myanmar. The Rohingya are subject to violence, religious persecution, and ethnic genocide. In turn, over 700,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh. However, restrictions prohibit Phu Tu Nee from leaving her home country; as a result, she has limited access to primary health care since her camp lacks professionally trained midwives and health facilities.   

Thankfully, UNFPA services such as mobile clinics are available. As a result, Phu Tu Nee was able to receive weekly prenatal care throughout her pregnancy at a UNFPA-supported mobile health clinic.  

On the eve of her birth, a tropical storm hit Myanmar. Nevertheless, Phu Tu Nee delivered her first baby with ease, since she was given a UNFPA clean delivery kit that ensured a safer delivery.  

UNFPA’s clean delivery kits contain essential items necessary for a safe birth, including sterile gloves, a blanket, a plastic sheet, and soap. For only $11 you can help UNFPA provide three emergency clean delivery kits to women without access to maternal health services.  

 UNFPA has distributed 4,200 clean delivery kits to pregnant women in conflict-and crisis-affected areas in Myanmar.   

 The day after Phu Tu Nee gave birth the weather cleared, and she was able to rest with her newborn baby. In the aftermath of her birth, all her concerns and questions were answered by UNFPA health volunteers, who provided her with advice and information on post-partum care. On a day-to-day basis, these volunteers check on community members to make sure they are utilizing all UNFPA resources.   

 None of this would have been possible without the work of UNFPA.   

 UNFPA also offers Dignity Kits, which contain vital items such as menstrual pads, bath soap, underwear, and other necessities to uphold the health and dignity of women and girls.  

 A donation of only $25 can provide one woman in a humanitarian setting such as the Rohingya refugee crisis with a dignity kit that offers flashlights and hygiene essentials, ensuring that she can maintain her dignity, health, and security in emergency situations. 

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