Press Release

Myanmar Recovery Must Ensure Women's Health and Protection, UNFPA Says

10 July 2008
Author: UNFPA

UNITED NATIONS, New York — Life-saving care for women remains a critical need as Myanmar recovers from Cyclone Nargis, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, stressed today as agencies jointly asked for donor support.

UNFPA is seeking $7 million to help mothers deliver safely and meet other needs in reproductive health and women’s protection. Its proposed assistance is part of a revised United Nations funding appeal to help the 2.4 million people affected by the cyclone rebuild their lives and communities.

Tens of thousands of pregnant women have been put at risk by the storm’s disruption of health services. UNFPA estimates that each month, 4,400 women will give birth; some 440 of those will experience complications, and 220 will require Caesarean sections.

UNFPA is providing basic maternity supplies to health facilities in the affected townships and thousands of clean delivery kits designed to make home births safer. It is recruiting doctors for mobile clinics offering prenatal care in remote villages, and opening waiting homes so expectant mothers will be able to reach hospitals quickly.

 The Fund is also training medical staff from various relief organizations in activities to prevent maternal deaths, HIV transmission and sexual violence.

Plans include collaborating with health partners to restore delivery rooms at damaged medical facilities and increasing reproductive health service delivery points.

Along with other agencies, UNFPA also intends to offer counselling to women experiencing distress as a result of the cyclone and is working to establish measures to prevent abuse and exploitation of women and girls made vulnerable by the catastrophe.

Contact information:

Omar Gharzeddine
Tel.: +1 (212) 297-5028
Email: gharzeddine@unfpa.org

William A. Ryan
Tel.: +66 2 288 2446
Email: ryanw@unfpa.org

Myanmar
Population : 54.4 mil
Fertility rate
2.1
Maternal Mortality Ratio
250
Contraceptives prevalence rate
33
Population aged 10-24
27%
Youth secondary school enrollment
Boys 61%
Girls 67%

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