After Earthquake, UNFPA Aims to Ensure Pregnant Women Can Deliver Safely
30 May 2006
30 May 2006
JAKARTA, Indonesia — A United Nations team is assessing the health needs of 100,000 Indonesian earthquake survivors, including emergency care for pregnant women and other reproductive health services. UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, plans to dispatch supplies and equipment to the affected areas as needed.
The 27 May disaster in Yogyakarta and Central Java provinces reportedly killed more than 5,000 people and injured more than 15,000, and official estimates of the toll continue to rise. Around 25,000 homes were destroyed or damaged, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance.
UNFPA aims to ensure that relief efforts address reproductive health needs, which are often neglected in emergencies. A Fund specialist joined experts from UNICEF and the World Health Organization on a 28 May mission to the worst-affected districts of Bantul and Klaten to determine the earthquake’s impact on the population and the local health system.
“Our goal is to prevent unnecessary deaths due to a lack of quality health services,” said Dr. Bernard Coquelin, UNFPA Representative in Indonesia. “Based on the assessment findings, we will provide various reproductive health kits and supplies to make sure that services are accessible to people in temporary settlements. Providing emergency obstetric care for women with pregnancy complications will be a priority.”
As part of its post-quake response, UNFPA will also work to prevent gender-based violence among the displaced population, and will distribute personal hygiene kits to enable displaced women to freely perform their daily activity, including seeking assistance.
UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is an international development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. UNFPA supports countries in using population data for policies and programmes to reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV/AIDS, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.
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