Press Release

Population Fund Sends Emergency Delivery Kits to Mozambique Flood Victims

02 March 2000

UNITED NATIONS, New York - As part of the United Nations system's urgent humanitarian response to the floods devastating Mozambique, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has sent emergency reproductive health supplies, such as life-saving, clean baby delivery kits, and equipment for obstetric complications, that will serve a population of 500,000 people for three months. With a first phase already in the southern African country, the Fund is shipping a second batch which will leave Amsterdam on Sunday and reach Maputo on Tuesday, 7 March.

The supplies are meant to improve the chances of survival for babies such as Rositha Pedro, who was born on a tree on Wednesday while her mother clung for safety above Mozambique's chest-high flood waters. In its update on the situation, the Mozambican Government's Instituto Nacional de Gestão de Calamidades has said that there is a desperate need for such supplies as blankets and plastic sheeting.

UNFPA's Representative in Mozambique, Georges Georgi, will distribute the supplies, which mainly include 50 kits for clean delivery; 20 sets of delivery subkits; and 3 sets of referral level subkits:

Clean delivery subkits -- include basic supplies such as plastic sheeting, razor blades for cutting umbilical cords, sterile gloves, plastic aprons, and strings for umbilical cords; Delivery subkits -- to stabilize precarious situations, such as convulsions and bleeding and will include suturing equipment, drips, infusion sets and suction catheters; Referral level -- to perform caesarian sections, resuscitate babies, help deliveries, treat sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and handle delivery complications.

Mr. Georgi said the first batch of supplies, meant for about one half of a million persons, has already reached the country. It includes 20 sets of kits for suturing cervical and vaginal tears; 3 sets of referral level kits; as well as 3 sets of materials for training health workers.

Furthermore, Mr. Georgi said, Norway's Government has donated $50,000 to the Fund in a quick response to an appeal made last week by the United Nations system.

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UNFPA is the largest internationally funded source of population assistance to developing countries. The Fund assists developing countries to improve reproductive health and family planning services on the basis of individual choice, and to formulate population policies in support of efforts towards sustainable development.

Contact Information:

Abubakar Dungus
Tel.: +1 (212) 297-5031

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