UNFPA continues to send provisions to Myanmar to enable local health providers to ensure that pregnant women can deliver safely — everything from rubber gloves for midwives to hospital equipment for blood transfusions. The preassembled supply kits also address other reproductive health needs essential for displaced populations, including supplies for preventing HIV infection and unwanted pregnancies and responding to sexual violence.
A shipment designed to serve the emergency reproductive health needs of 200,000 to 300,000 people arrived in Yangon by commercial cargo flight on 10 May; these supplies have been delivered to health authorities in three affected townships in the Ayeyarwady delta. Two more shipments due to arrive this week are to be distributed in two townships with temporary medical centres treating referral cases from the affected areas.
Through its local partner NGOs, the UNFPA Myanmar Country Office has also distributed hundreds of clean delivery kits for individual childbirths, and thousands of "dignity kits" to help displaced women maintain personal hygiene.
With support from the UN Central Emergency Relief Fund, UNFPA plans to provide emergency obstetric care, other reproductive health services and trauma care at temporary health facilities and mobile clinics that the Myanmar Medical Association is setting up in the affected areas.
As part of the humanitarian community's coordinated response to Cyclone Nargis, UNFPA serves as the lead agency for reproductive health, and is working with other agencies to protect displaced women from violence. The Fund is also providing health education materials and technical guidelines in the national language. These include the Minimum Initial Service Package, which describes a set of activities to prevent maternal deaths, HIV transmission and sexual violence in the early stages of a refugee emergency.