UNFPA: Clean Delivery Kits in Emergency Situations

by Friends of UNFPA, Inc
The Jalozai camp in Pakistan
The Jalozai camp in Pakistan's Nowshera District

As the number of families living in the Jalozai camp in Pakistan increases due to military operations in other parts of the country, conditions are becoming more cramped and even less sanitary. With the number of those displaced reaching 1 million, of which 74% are women and children, over 36,000 births will take place in the oncoming months.

For Kiran Azeem Kahn, 30, a pregnant mother of five who was forced to flee from her home in Miran Shah, the question of how she will give birth safely in a place where health facilities are overwhelmed and medical staff are lacking is a constant worry. “I was extremely worried, as I left with nothing and had no money for hospital charges,” Ms. Khan said.

For just $11, UNFPA can provide Ms. Khan and two other women with clean birthing kits to help deliver their babies safely and with dignity in crisis situations as well as reduce their fear surrounding this precious time. This simple birthing kit could mean the difference between life and death for both mother and child.

Thankfully, due to your kind donations and the support of UNFPA, Ms. Khan was able to deliver her baby daughter Gul, safely in late July at the UNFPA-supported Zanana Women and Children Teaching Hospital in Bannu City. She said, “I am very happy that I was able to deliver in a hospital, and that I was provided clean delivery and newborn baby kits.”

However, for many of the other pregnant displaced women who have had to take shelter with host families or in public buildings, the future of their and their babies’ health is unclear and only with your help can these women have as safe and clean an experience as Ms. Khan. With a donation of only $25, a woman will receive hygiene essentials for six months, ensuring her health remains in prime condition after giving birth.

UNFPA is aware that women in crises are extremely vulnerable during their pregnancies and in childbirth and with your support has distributed hundreds of clean delivery kits, newborn baby kits and dignity kits with personal hygiene items to protect the displaced women in Pakistan’s Nowshera District.

Baby Gul, born at a UNFPA supported hospital
Baby Gul, born at a UNFPA supported hospital
Mother and Child in South Sudan
Mother and Child in South Sudan

Amid escalating conflict, some 30,000 women in South Sudan are at risk of dying in childbirth, according to estimates by UNFPA, and 200,000 pregnant women will be in need of urgent care before the end of the year. In times such as these reproductive health services become unavailable causing pregnancy-related deaths to soar.

UNFPA's clean birthing kits can mean life or death for many women in disaster circumstances. For only $11 you can provide 3 emergency clean birthing kits. The kits include 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.

Mary, 23, was seven months pregnant when she fled her home with her family after violence broke out between government and opposition forces in mid-December 2013. “We had to run to save our lives because there was too much killing,” she said.

Health systems in the country, which were fragile before the outbreak of violence, are rapidly deteriorating as health professionals flee the country. Fortunately, before she delivered Mary was able to reach a civilian protection camp supplied by UNFPA and staffed by UNFPA-trained midwives. Assisted by trained professionals equipped with the necessary supplies, she gave birth safely. Now her healthy son is a symbol of hope amid ongoing violence.

You can help provide hope to women like her who are currently living amidst conflict in South Sudan. With a contribution of $25 you can supply a woman displaced by disaster with 6 months of reproductive health supplies, enabling her to maintain her dignity.

While UNFPA and its partners have helped to safely deliver 3,500 babies in recent months, needs are escalating rapidly. With the rainy season approaching and large areas of the country likely to be inaccessible due to flooding, the humanitarian response could be undermined.

Only with your support can UNFPA provide the necessary reproductive healthcare for women in South Sudan. Please consider making a generous contribution so that even in tough times women can live with health and dignity. 

Reproductive health kit - South Sudan
Reproductive health kit - South Sudan
Dekoisse and her new baby receive a dignity kit
Dekoisse and her new baby receive a dignity kit

Even as the humanitarian crisis in Central African Republic continues to deteriorate, women are still in need of a safe place to give birth.  Approximately 1 million people have lost their homes and livelihoods due to escalating ethnic and religious violence that has claimed tens of thousands of lives. 

                For just $11, 3 women can be provided with a clean birthing kit to help deliver their babies safely and with dignity in crisis situations. This kit can mean the difference between life and death for both mother and child.

                After experiencing the horror of having her husband shot dead and her home set on fire, 25 year old Dekoisse Charlin ran cradling what mattered to her the most, her son. Along with numerous others fleeing from her destroyed village, she set off on the long, arduous journey to a refugee camp. Dekoisse’s nightmare had not ended, she was also heavily pregnant and unsure of how she would deliver her baby safely when she arrived.

                Luckily for Dekoisse, when the time came to give birth, a clean birthing kit meant survival: “My son and I arrived with no possessions because our house was burnt down. Eleven days later, I delivered a baby boy. My children and I were able to get potable water thanks to the dignity kit provided by UNFPA”.

UNFPA understands that women must still give birth during crises no matter how dangerous or inconvenient the circumstances. To meet the urgent needs of pregnant women and young people affected by the crisis, UNFPA has distributed thousands of dignity kits, clean delivery kits, and other reproductive health and life-saving supplies for women like Dekoisse. These vital necessities will cover the reproductive needs of 450,000 refugees gathered in the capital, Bangui, and six surrounding villages.

                For only $25 a woman can be provided with hygiene essentials for six months, allowing her to maintain her dignity in hazardous situations. Please consider making a contribution so these women can stay healthy whilst caring for their newborn babies.

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.

Khloloud Mohammad and baby girl, Rania
Khloloud Mohammad and baby girl, Rania

Civil war in Syria has driven over 2,000,000 people from their homes. More than a quarter have gone to neighboring Jordan where UNCHR – the United Nations Refugee Agency – has set up camps to host these refugees and provide them with basic services. Women and children who are especially vulnerable to exploitation, violence and abuse during crises make up over 78% of the camps and 1 in 5 women are pregnant.

During times of conflict, essential health care services are often interrupted, leaving pregnant women especially at risk. These women no longer have access to reproductive health services, and often are forced to give birth in unsanitary settings without assistance by a trained midwife or doctor.

UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, works hard to ensure that every child is delivered safely by providing reproductive health services and supplies to refugees in need. For just $11, UNFPA can provide three pregnant women with a clean delivery birthing kit. This kit, which includes a bar of soap, clear plastic sheet, umbilical cord tie, blanket, and latex, can mean the difference between life and death for a mother and her newborn child. 

Khloloud Mohammad, her husband and seven children braved shellings and snipers as they made the trek on foot to cross into Jordan. Seven months pregnant, Khloloud left Syria with her family to escape the violence. “All I want is to have a safe place for my children,” she said.  Once in Jordan, the family was transferred to Cyber City, a rapidly expanding refugee center with a UNFPA supported mobile clinic. With the help of a quick acting midwife, Khloloud was able to deliver a healthy baby girl, Rania. When Kholoud went into labor there was not time to transfer her to a hospital so the midwife, “had no other option but to help her give birth at the clinic.”

Sitting on a chair at the clinic, Khloloud was holding and breastfeeding her baby girl, Rania, with care and help from the midwife. “While I was running [from] the shelling in Syria, I was praying to God I would survive with my children and baby-to-come,” said Khloloud, “and here I am holding my baby and hope one day we will go back to our country and live in peace.”

Pregnancies do not stop during emergencies and UNFPA provides expecting mothers with crucial care during times of crisis like the civil war in Syria.  As the conflict escalates, this care is more important than ever to over a million women fleeing the violence.

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.  

Khloloud and midwife in UNFPA funded mobile clinic
Khloloud and midwife in UNFPA funded mobile clinic

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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
$22,044 raised of $98,000 goal
686 donations
$75,956 to go
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