Protect the World's Most Vulnerable from COVID-19

by Friends of UNFPA, Inc
Protect the World's Most Vulnerable from COVID-19
Protect the World's Most Vulnerable from COVID-19
Protect the World's Most Vulnerable from COVID-19
Protect the World's Most Vulnerable from COVID-19
Zilkee with the newborn immediately after delivery
Zilkee with the newborn immediately after delivery

Zilkee, a midwife in the remote Bandarban District of Bangladesh, knows all too well the dangers of leaving women without access to maternal health support.

For pregnant women in Bandarban, there are great barriers to receiving lifesaving reproductive health care. Distance, lack of affordable transportation, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, a fear of seeking treatment, all stand in the way of expectant mothers receiving care. In June 2021, UNFPA deployed Zilkee and many other midwives to remote regions, to ensure no women was left without support during childbirth.

Just one month after Zilkee arrived, one of her patients went in to labor. The women’s only option was to travel for two hours in a worn-out fishing boat, through monsoon rain, to reach her nearest clinic. However, her labor had progressed so much that by the time she reached the clinic the only option was for her to give birth in the boat.

Thanks to you, Zilkee was there. She rushed to the boat with her equipment, ensuring the mother could deliver her baby girl safely.

“I am so happy that I was able to save both a life of a mother and a baby girl today. If I would not have come to the river, the situation could have been really serious. I have never been as proud to call myself a midwife!” Zilkee stated after the delivery.

$100 provides five midwives, just like Zilkee with the equipment needed to ensure women everywhere can give birth safely, no matter what.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing strains on maternal care provisions worldwide. Hospitals are overwhelmed, lockdowns are disrupting routine pre and post-natal treatment meetings, and disruptions to family planning supplies are leaving women without the ability to plan if, and when they get pregnant.

UNFPA is working tirelessly to overcome these challenges. Investments in telehealth services are connecting remote regions like Bandarban to expert care providers, allowing midwives to guide women in through their pregnancies from afar. However, there continues to be a shortage of midwives around the world.

$25 provides five expectant mothers with emergency birthing kits, which include all the supplies needed for a woman to give birth, even when she can’t access a clinic.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to overwhelm health systems and place barriers between women and care providers, your support is essential. With you, UNFPA can be there for midwives like Zilkee, for new mothers, and for their babies, no matter what. 

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Before the war, Fatima's life was very different. She had a degree in clinical laboratory science, was happily married to her husband, and was raising three kids. 

But, after her husband died in a bomb attack, Fatima took her children and fled for a displacement camp in the countryside. Fatima remembers, "I had no one to back me up or support me to alleviate my pain and grief."

 $10 provides two pregnant women with emergency birth kits. The kit contains everything needed to ensure that women can safely give birth, even if they're on the move like Fatima was. 

Sadly, once Fatima and her family arrived at the displacement camp, she became sick with COVID-19. She was quarantined in a local hospital, but the isolation was crushing. Fatima said, “I felt so lonely and dark... I was struggling to save my life to go back to my children."

Thinking of her children gave Fatima the strength to recover. Back in the displacement camp, she was able to receive sexual and reproductive health care from UNFPA and her son was treated for his own sickness. 

$48 provides 40 women, including women in displacement camps like Fatima, with injectable contraception, so they can decide if and when to have children.

UNFPA is supporting 105 health facilities in Yemen, just like the one Fatima received care from. The work is incredibly challenging and the conflict has left UNFPA as the only provider of sexual and reproductive health care in the country. Fatima says that even though the pandemic and the war have proven that she is capable of more than she could ever imagine, she still dreams of moving back home with her children. "I hope, one day, the pandemic and war will perish from my country.”

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Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, access to family planning has been widely disrupted by travel restrictions, interrupted supply chains, stock-outs and overwhelmed health facilities. An estimated 12 million women have experienced disruptions in their family planning services, leading to 1.4 million unintended pregnancies. These unintended pregnancies have put a great strain on families which were already struggling under pandemic-related financial burdens. The consequences of rising unintended pregnancy are not simply economic – they are also put the lives of women and their babies at risk.

Your support is essential in ensuring women have access to family planning support services, no matter what.

Nepali mother of five, Maya, is one of the 12 million women whose reproductive healthcare has been interrupted by the pandemic. She had been relying on injectable contraceptives from her nearby health center, but when she visited for a shot in June, there were none in stock. Maya was left without access to contraceptives for several months. “I was constantly worried about having an unwanted pregnancy,” she told UNFPA. Not long after missing her shot, she became pregnant. Maya’s newest child is well loved and healthy, but she acknowledges that their circumstances are now more precarious than before. "With a meagre income, raising our fifth child is going to be a tough battle for me and my husband," she explained.

One year into the pandemic, the strain it has put on already limited health care facilities continues to pose a significant threat to women’s reproductive health. With your help, we can ensure that women everywhere have reliable access to birth control and family planning services. Just $48 can provide 40 women with injectable contraceptives, so women like Maya have the ability to choose whether and when to have children. Please donate today!

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As of last year, the island of Socotra, Yemen, was devoid of any reproductive care facilities. When Noor, now 20, experienced complications in her pregnancy, she had to travel hundreds of miles to give birth at a health facility. By the time she arrived, it was too late. She lost the baby. This year, Noor became pregnant again, but thanks to the reopening of the UNFPA supported Nawjad Health Center in Socotra, she was able to deliver at a clinic under the care of a midwife, free of charge. She had a healthy baby boy.

It is donations like yours that allow UNFPA to support health facilities like the Nawjad Health Center to continue providing lifesaving maternal services. “This health center was abandoned for a long time” said the center’s director. “But these days, it has become a lifeline for many women in Socotra.”

UNFPA estimates that approximately 6 million women and girls of childbearing age in Yemen need access to reproductive health care. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic is overwhelming the country’s health system, escalating the vulnerabilities of women and girls. Some 70% of UNFPA’s reproductive health programs in the country remain closed due to a lack of funding.  Only 61 out of 180 UNFPA-supported reproductive health facilities are functioning. We need your help to provide care to women who may be unable to access a clinic; Just $25 can provide five expecting mothers with clean delivery kits furnished with everything they need to give birth safely. Your generous contribution can save lives. Please donate today!

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Healthcare systems are increasingly overwhelmed and the challenges facing women in low and middle-income countries and humanitarian settings have never been as dire as during the coronavirus pandemic. UNFPA is working hard to mitigate the damage.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has progressed, UNFPA research has revealed that for every six months of lockdown, 47 million women could lose access to birth control, resulting in 7 million unintended pregnancies.

But, these statistics can be avoided. Kabita   a Nepalese service provider, is able to continue providing women at a COVID-19 quarantine center eight hours away with family planning because of your support. Kabita is a member of a courageous group of practitioners who provide women in remote regions with lifesaving family planning supplies and information. So far, their work during the pandemic has provided over 1,000 women in Nepal with essential contraception.  $48 provides a further 40 women with injectable contraceptives, allowing them to choose if, and when, to conceive.

With your help, UNFPA can provide essential family planning services, and ensure that that the health and rights of women are maintained, even during this crisis. For as little as $10, you can provide two mothers with delivery kits containing everything needed to give birth safely. It is only with your support that our world’s most vulnerable women can be guaranteed the healthcare they deserve and need throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Please donate today! 

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Friends of UNFPA, Inc

Location: New York, NY - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Addison Altholz
New York, NY United States
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