UNFPA: Clean Birthing Kits in Emergency Situations

by Friends of UNFPA, Inc
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

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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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Ruqaya is 9 months pregnant living in Domiz camp
Ruqaya is 9 months pregnant living in Domiz camp

Syria is experiencing the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world today. With more than 3 million people, mostly women and children, being forced to seek refuge in neighbouring countries, the need for maternal healthcare is high. Over 400,000 refugees will give birth within the next 9 months and your help is essential to their 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.

In the Dominz camp in Duhok Iraq, a UNFPA run maternity sees between 30-35 pregnant women each day. These clinics are a lifeline for many women and babies but additional supplies and trained midwives are always needed. UNFPA understands that in emergencies women’s reproductive health needs are easily overlooked but women and girls are often the most vulnerable during crisis, and having a safe place to give birth is crucial.

Ruqaya, 36, leaves the UNFPA maternity clinic saying: "Despite the hardships and difficulties in making a living, other aspects of life go on normally." She and her four children had to flee their home in Qamishli, Syria and while she could not have imagined having another child, she is in the final stages of her pregnancy. “Life goes on,” she said, “I am in the ninth month of my pregnancy now”. Thanks to UNFPA and your donations, Ruqaya and other women like her are not alone and they are provided with the support and resources required to give birth safely, with fewer worries.

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

“Having a maternity clinic in the camp is a relief,” said Natja, a 25 year old refugee but your donations are still needed. Not only does UNFPA provide birthing and hygiene kits, UNFPA also provides emergency obstetric care and psychosocial support that are often forgotten about for those living in crises. Please consider making a kind donation to help save the lives of women refugees from Syria and their babies. 

UNFPA distributes hygiene kits to women in Iraq
UNFPA distributes hygiene kits to women in Iraq
Just $11 provides 3 emergency clean birthing kits
Just $11 provides 3 emergency clean birthing kits

The ongoing conflict in South Sudan means many women in the young country are left without access to reproductive health care, making them especially vulnerable during childbirth. As in every emergency situation, 1 in 5 women are likely to be pregnant and according to estimates by UNFPA, 200,000 women are in need of essential maternal care.

For as little as $11, UNFPA can protect three women and their babies by providing them with clean birthing kits consisting of a bar of soap, a clear plastic sheet, a razor blade, an umbilical cord tie, a cloth and latex gloves to aid the safe delivery of babies in crisis situations.

After escaping from violence, Teresa found herself with no food, water or shelter and a toddler to care for. Her traumatic situation worsened while on her way to a nearby village by boat. Midway through the journey the boat capsized. Unable to swim and 6 months pregnant, Teresa was carried to the shore along with her 2 year old son. When she arrived at a civilian camp she went to a UNFPA supported clinic to ensure her baby was still healthy.

“They gave me medicine, education and appointments. They helped me find a place to live and gave me some food.” UNFPA ensured that Teresa had all the medical attention she required – she needed a cesarean-section due to a back condition she suffered from.

She was fortunate enough to give birth in a UN hospital. Many other women living in similar camps in South Sudan, however, do not have access to these facilities. A donation of $25 will supply a woman with hygiene essentials for six months, enabling her to maintain her dignity even during conflict.

For refugee women living in crisis situations such as those in South Sudan, complications of pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death and disease and for new mothers like Teresa. Basic necessities and family support may be non-existent. Please consider making a generous donation that could save the lives and brighten the futures of women throughout 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
$18,710 raised of $98,000 goal
 
587 donations
$79,290 to go
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