During the emergency phase of the tsunami disaster, UNFPA in Maldives provided reproductive health supplies for clean delivery and blood transfusion as well as contraceptives. Hygiene and sanitary packs for women and girls and newborn care packs were widely distributed.
Volunteer gynecologists and midwives deputed by the UNFPA have provided efficient services in the Maldives. They also provided mobile/outreach antenatal, postnatal care as well as reproductive health and family planning services. Strengthening of mobile services is an important aim of the UNFPA Tsunami intervention.
The psychosocial needs of affected populations are also a priority. In partnership with the National Disaster Management Centre, the Ministry of Planning and others, UNFPA has been involved in conducting assessments, creating questionnaires, advocating for effective follow-up on related findings, and training health workers and others in reproductive health service delivery and psychosocial support.
Assessments of reproductive health needs on the worst affected islands were initiated and are ongoing. Planned activities aim to increase the availability and use of comprehensive, quality reproductive health services, supplies and information in the five most-impacted atolls. Damaged facilities will be refurbished and equipment replaced to improve access to essential services including emergency obstetric care. For a number of isolated atolls, referral services will be strengthened through the provision of a boat with mobile equipment such as ultrasound machines.
UNFPA has also produced a short film entitled Surviving the Tsunami' which discusses the impact of the tsunami in the Maldives, the response by communities, government and UN agencies, and highlights issues that have arisen in the post-emergency situation. The film is being used at trainings and workshops to share information, highlight certain issues and facilitate discussions about future directions.