Press Release

Population Fund Sends Emergency Safe Motherhood Supplies for Zimbabwe Cyclone Victims

14 March 2000
Author: UNFPA

UNITED NATIONS, New York - The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is airlifting more than six tonnes of life-saving emergency safe motherhood and reproductive health supplies to Zimbabwe to help victims of Cyclone Eline.

The supplies, including clean delivery kits and tools for handling obstetric complications, will meet the needs for three months of a population of 200,000 people, including 50,000 women in their reproductive age. Supplies will be distributed by the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Welfare and the Zimbabwe Family Planning Council.

UNFPA is also helping to pay for the repair of some of the country's cyclone-damaged district and rural health clinics and sending 1.6 million iron tablets. Its relief supplies will leave Amsterdam on 16 March and reach Harare on the next day, for distribution by the Fund's Representative in Zimbabwe, Etta Tadesse.

The safe motherhood and reproductive health kits provide basic supplies needed to perform clean, safe deliveries. They include clean home delivery basic supplies, such as plastic sheeting, razor blades for cutting umbilical cords, sterile gloves and plastic aprons. Also included are health centre delivery subkits used to stabilize precarious situations, such as convulsions and bleeding; and referral-level instruments used to perform caesarian sections, resuscitate babies and mothers, as well as to handle childbirth complications. The overall package also includes tools for HIV testing and blood transfusion.

Since July 1999, UNFPA has provided help in at least 10 emergencies. These include Venezuela, Madagascar, Mozambique, Turkey and East Timor.

Contact Information:

Abubakar Dungus
Tel.: +1 (212) 297-5031
Fax: +1 (212) 557-6416

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