Armed conflicts and natural disasters increase the number of people requiring medical care. But in many crisis zones, personnel working in damaged or temporary health facilities may lack the ability to ensure clean and safe conditions to prevent HIV transmission among workers and patients.
Pregnant women who haemorrhage during delivery, landmine victims, and countless others caught up in conflict and natural disaster require blood transfusion. Blood screening is critical to ensure a safe blood supply. Health workers must also have the supplies to maintain ‘universal precautions’ to prevent transmission from patient to patient, health worker to patient, and patient to health worker.
UNFPA provides health facilities with emergency supplies and equipment and trains health workers in their use. Included are supplies and equipment for safe blood transfusion and sterilization of instruments, and instructions for maintaining universal precautions for HIV prevention. UNFPA also provides the medication, testing equipment and training needed to administer post-exposure prophylaxis, to protect health workers who may have been exposed to infected blood.