UNFPA: Clean Delivery Kits in Emergency Situations

by Friends of UNFPA, Inc
Vetted
A mother sits with her baby in a health facility
A mother sits with her baby in a health facility

In February of this year, Cyclone Winston devastated the island nation of Fiji in the Pacific Ocean. Approximately 340,000 people, or 40 percent of Fiji’s population, were impacted by the category 5 cyclone – the worst storm ever recorded in the southern hemisphere. The storm affected 87,500 women and girls of reproductive age, including 5,600 pregnant women. The storm also completely destroyed eight large hospitals and damaged 55 others.

Even under normal conditions, reproductive health issues are a leading cause of death and illness among women of childbearing age. When a crisis strikes, skilled birth attendance and emergency obstetric care often become unavailable, exacerbating the vulnerability of pregnant women.

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.

Since Cyclone Winston hit Fiji, UNFPA has distributed over 1,000 clean delivery kits to women, procured 4,400 more and provided 150 reproductive health kits to medical facilities to ensure they can continue to offer life-saving reproductive health services despite damages or lack of electricity. UNFPA is also supporting the deployment of 20 additional midwives in highly impacted areas.

“We must ensure that services for pregnant women and childbirth facilities remain accessible. And women and girls must be able to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies and from sexual violence,” stated Dr. Laurent Zessler, director and representative of the UNFPA Pacific Sub-Regional.

In addition to providing reproductive health care, gender-based violence (GBV) services are a critical part of meeting the needs of vulnerable women and girls in Fiji. According to the Fiji Women Crisis Center, 64 percent of women in the country suffer physical and/or sexual violence at the hands of an intimate partner in their lifetime, and in times of crisis, rates of GBV often spike.

"It is a plain and simple truth that disasters reinforce, perpetuate and increase gender inequality, making bad situations worse for women,” said Margaret Wahlstrom, former Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction.

UNFPA also provides dignity kits to women in disaster and the surrounding countries. Dignity kits contain items such as underwear, soap, a comb, and feminine hygiene supplies. For $25 you can provide these essential items to a woman for six months.

Links:

A mother and her newborn in Syria.
A mother and her newborn in Syria.

After five years of fighting in Syria, UNFPA appealed to world leaders this month to increase global aid to women and girls affected by the conflict. “Protecting the rights of women and young people and putting an end to gender-based violence is everyone’s responsibility,” said UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin at the Syria Donors Conference in London.

For only $11 you can help UNFPA provide 3 emergency clean delivery kits to women without access to maternal health services.

With 13.5 million Syrians impacted by the crisis, 4.1 million are women and girls of reproductive age including 360,000 pregnant women.  “Even in peaceful times, it can be difficult to carry a baby and have a safe delivery. But inside a war zone with air strikes and snipers, on a boat with smugglers, or in a refugee camp, being pregnant is truly daunting,” wrote Dr. Osotimehin recently for Devex.com. “In every emergency, the risks to women and girls increase as access to health services decline.”

UNFPA continues to work in Syria and in the surrounding region to improve access to these services. Thus far, UNFPA has provided reproductive health services for over 130,000 people affected. UNFPA supports 148 women’s health centers and safe spaces in the region. UNFPA-supported facilities provide prenatal and safe-delivery services as well as psychosocial support for victims of gender-based violence.

For expectant mothers out of the reach of these facilities, UNFPA provides clean delivery kits consisting of a bar of soap, a clear plastic sheet, razor blade, an umbilical cord tie, cloth and latex gloves. While these supplies may appear rudimentary, they help prevent infection and can make the difference between life and death for a mother and her baby.

UNFPA also provides dignity kits to women in Syria and the surrounding countries. Dignity kits contain items such as underwear, soap, a comb, and feminine hygiene supplies. For $25 you can provide these essential items to a woman for six months.


Attachments:
Jessa Gonzales,19, Casiguran District
Jessa Gonzales,19, Casiguran District

Relief and recovery efforts are ongoing in the Philippines as floodwaters from Typhoon Koppu, known locally as Typhoon Lando, continue to recede. Among those affected are hundreds of thousands of women and girls of childbearing age and tens of thousands of pregnant women, UNFPA estimates.

In areas severely affected by the floods, there have been reports of women giving birth in evacuation centers.

In response, UNFPA has deployed hygiene supplies to pregnant women and new mothers and has delivered medical equipment to health workers to support safe childbirth.

For only $11 you can provide 3 emergency clean birthing kits to help deliver babies safely in crisis situations.

The typhoon was unusually large and slow-moving, unleashing flash floods and landslides when it made landfall on October 18th.

As of November 6th, roughly 713,600 people were still displaced and an estimated 9,000 survivors were currently crowded into evacuation centers.

Health facilities have also been badly affected. At Casiguran District Hospital, much of the roof was blown off the building, and staff members were forced to attend to childbirths in the emergency room because of extensive damage to the maternity ward.

UNFPA has provided the hospital with clean delivery kits, which contain the medicines and sterile supplies required to safely perform deliveries.

 “Pregnant women deliver even in emergencies. We must ensure that they continue to have access to safe and clean delivery despite the situation,” said Klaus Beck, UNFPA’s Representative in the Philippines. “It is a matter of life and death for the woman and the baby.”

UNFPA has also distributed thousands of dignity kits – which contain hygiene supplies, including soap, sanitary napkins, underwear and other essential items – for pregnant and breastfeeding women in affected provinces.

A donation of only $25 can provide one woman in a humanitarian setting such as the Philippines or Nepal with hygiene essentials for six months, ensuring that she is able to maintain her dignity and health in emergency situations.

Casiguran District Hospital
Casiguran District Hospital
A family
A family's home has been destroyed by the typhoon.
A youth volunteer, delivers supplies in Myanmar
A youth volunteer, delivers supplies in Myanmar

This month, over a million people have been critically affected by floods and landslides in Myanmar. An estimated 300,000 households have been displaced by the crisis. This includes 62,500 women and girls of reproductive age and 12,500 pregnant women. Due to the lack of access to health care created by the flooding and consequent landslides, many of these women and girls are at higher risk of complications during pregnancy and childbirth.

UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, distributes clean birth kits during humanitarian emergencies.  By providing basic essentials – sterile gloves, soap, blanket, plastic sheet, razor blade, and umbilical cord tie – the kits help to prevent infection. They keep mothers and their new born babies safe and healthy until they receive full medical care.

For only $11 you can provide 3 emergency clean birthing kits to help deliver babies safely in crisis situations.

After the flooding in Myanmar, UNFPA has distributed more than 400 clean birthing kits to pregnant women in the hardest hit areas of the country.

In addition to the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar, UNFPA remains dedicated to helping women and girls in areas of Nepal still devastated by the earthquake that struck the country on April 25th. So far, UNFPA has helped to deliver reproductive health supplies to assist over 61,000 people in the country.  

Work in Nepal has gone beyond the delivery of supplies as well. UNFPA has trained 130 health care personnel on the clinical management of rape and has reached over 5,000 women and girls with psychosocial counseling, a critical component of post-crisis recovery as cases of sexual violence soar in the aftermath of a disaster. Through its support of reproductive health camps, UNFPA has delivered life-saving health services to areas hardest hit by the disaster. In fact, 93 such camps have assisted over 61,000 people so far by bringing doctors, nurses, and midwives to even the most remote locations.

With over 3 million people still living in temporary shelters, more work remains.

A donation of only $25 can provide one woman in a humanitarian setting such as Myanmar or Nepal with hygiene essentials for six months, ensuring that she is able to maintain her dignity and health in emergency situations.

In both Myanmar and Nepal, the distribution of lifesaving clean birthing kits and other essential supplies would not be possible without generous contributions from supporters like you. 

Flood affected families wait for assistance
Flood affected families wait for assistance

Links:

8 million people were affected by the devastating earthquake that jolted Nepal on April 25th, 2015, including 126,000 pregnant women. Health facilities are now overwhelmed and medical supplies are being quickly depleted. As a result, thousands of women may give birth in appalling conditions, without access to safe birth services and lifesaving care.

For only $11 you can provide 3 emergency clean birthing kits consisting of a bar of soap, a clear plastic sheet, razor blade, an umbilical cord tie, cloth and latex gloves to help deliver babies safely in crisis situations like the Nepal earthquake.

UNFPA is responding in quake-affected areas with reproductive health kits to support safe birth, as well as dignity kits, which contain hygiene supplies for women and girls of reproductive age. UNFPA and partners are also working to prevent gender-based violence, which is known to increase in the aftermath of disasters.

“I was indoors when the ground started shaking,” said Sabina, who was 3 months pregnant at the time of the earthquake. “Fortunately, I have enough food for now,” she said, “but I need materials that meet my health needs. I need to protect myself and the baby inside me.”

New mothers, including those who are breastfeeding, need special care as well. Rabina is the mother of a 14-month-old boy. Her home, too, was destroyed, and her family is living at a temporary camp. "Even simple supplies like soap, scarves, saris and sanitary pads are so useful at this time,” Rabina said. “I can take better care of my baby if I can take better care of myself."

A donation of just $25 can provide a woman like Rabina with hygiene essentials for six months, ensuring that she is able to maintain her dignity and health in emergency situations.

The earthquake triggered landslides and violent aftershocks that have pushed families out of their houses in the weeks ahead of monsoon season. Even after the crisis garnered international attention, over a million women and girls in Nepal alone remain in need of essential reproductive health care.

With a contribution towards UNFPA’s distribution of clean birthing kits you can provide health and dignity for women and girls in crisis situations around the world. 

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Organization Information

Friends of UNFPA, Inc

Location: New York, NY - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.friendsofunfpa.org
Project Leader:
Olivia Ryan
NY, NY United States
$19,950 raised of $98,000 goal
 
626 donations
$78,050 to go
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