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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Jul 13, 2018

We somehow think life freezes but Rohingya women were pregnant before they fled Myanmar

“So often we don’t think of pregnant women in crises. We somehow think life freezes. But [Rohingya] women were pregnant before they fled Myanmar, women get pregnant by their husbands and by men who rape them. Childbirth stops for nothing” – Ashley Judd, Actress and UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador.

Over the last six months, more than 700,000 Rohingya refugees have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh. Cox’s Bazar refugee camp in Bangladesh hosts the majority of these refugees. Earlier this year, actress and UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador Ashley Judd visited Cox’s Bazar and met with many of the women living there. At that time, 34,000 of the newly arrived refugees were pregnant.

In her diaries, she writes about her visits to UNFPA-supported women friendly spaces and clinics that support maternal care. In one camp, the midwives have screened more than 170,000 women since August of last year—both refugees and women from the host communities—for pregnancy and medical needs.

With monsoon rains unleashing floods and landslides in Bangladesh, UNFPA and partner agencies are urgently working to secure Rohingya refugee camps and settlements in Cox’s Bazar district. Over 29,000 people have already been affected by the rains. Dozens have been injured, and at least one person has been killed.

“The safety of the Rohingya refugees during this monsoon season is priority one,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres after visiting refugee services, including UNFPA facilities, amid a downpour.

“As many as 200,000 need to be relocated. We cannot allow the monsoons to wash away the hopes of the Rohingya refugees I met today.”

As the rains intensify, UNFPA is working with partners mitigate monsoon-related risks and to reinforce health centers and safe spaces. 

At the Balukhali health center, the wait for maternal care is jaw-dropping. It splits in three directions.

Among the total and growing refugee population, some 40,000 women have received prenatal care and more than 1,500 babies have been born at UNFPA-supported facilities.

But still, 78% of refugee births take place outside of any health facility. To help, UNFPA has distributed over 12,000 clean delivery kits, encouraging mother to take them to any health facility when labor begins.  During the recent rains, UNFPA’s health facilities and women-friendly spaces saw a decline of more than 60 percent in service use.

UNFPA’s clean delivery kits contains the basic items necessary for a safe birth, including a sanitary mat for child birth, sterile gloves, a bar of soap, a razor, a clamp for the umbilical cord and a suction bulb to clear the newborn’s airway.

As Ashley Judd explains to CNN, “it literally makes the difference between life and death for both mother and newborn.”

For only $15 you can help UNFPA provide 3 emergency clean delivery kits to women without access to maternal health services.

Apr 13, 2018

UNFPA Mobile Reproductive Health Teams Reach Women in Previously Un-reached Area of Aleppo

UNFPA mobile reproductive health teams deployed
UNFPA mobile reproductive health teams deployed

On December 30th, UNFPA became the first UN agency to reach a besieged area of Aleppo. Approximately 65,000 people have been living in Sheikh Maqsoud without access to outside health care. Of these, the majority are women, children, and elderly persons, including 3,000 pregnant women. With humanitarian agencies unable to provide aid during the long siege, many of the women in Sheikh Maqsoud had been without health care for years.

  A single health facility had been operating in Sheikh Maqsoud, with the ability to serve just 50 people a day. UNFPA found the facility overburdened and lacking essential supplies. Reproductive health services were particularly strained. The facility was unable to perform Caesarean sections, leaving many women to carry out unsafe births. And without an ambulance, the facility had no way to transfer patients to outside hospitals.

UNFPA’s clean delivery kits contain basic items necessary for a safe birth, including sterile gloves, a blanket, a plastic sheet, and soap. For only $11 you can help UNFPA provide 3 emergency clean delivery kits to women without access to maternal health services. 

 As soon as UNFPA reached the area, they deployed two mobile reproductive health teams. On the first day of their arrival, UNFPA was able to serve more than 80 women. The teams provided antenatal and postpartum care, as well as offering family planning services and other essential care.  

 UNFPA responders also spoke to families about how the conditions of the siege had impacted the lives of women and girls beyond their access to reproductive health care. With a shortage of school supplies and unreliable electricity provided by generators, children faced steep obstacles to their education. In spite of this, one father swore to UNFPA, “I’ll make sure that my daughter will finish her education.” 

 Going forward, UNFPA plans to open three reproductive health centers. These centers will offer services for women ranging from reproductive health care to support for those affected by gender-based violence. In addition, UNFPA has partnered with Syrian Arab Red Crescent to distribute 1,200 dignity kits. With your help, UNFPA can continue to distribute dignity kits, and make sure women and girls are receiving essentials like soap, sanitary napkins, and underwear.  

 A donation of only $25 can provide one woman in a humanitarian crisis such as the Syrian conflict with a dignity kit that provides flashlights and hygiene essentials, ensuring that she is able to maintain her dignity, health, and security in emergency situations. 

 
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