UNFPA Providing Lifesaving Services to Pregnant Women Affected by Floods in Pakistan
12 Oct 2011
12 Oct 2011
ISLAMABAD—In response to humanitarian crisis in Pakistan, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is providing lifesaving assistance to communities affected by the recent floods. About 1.4 million women and girls of childbearing age in most severely affected areas require immediate access to reproductive health services. Of them, more than 160,000 are pregnant and will require critical services in the next 6 months.
Working with the government and partners, UNFPA has mobilized 50 mobile clinics in the 8 worst flood affected districts. “These fully equipped mobile vehicles are offering basic emergency obstetric care services and basic primary health care to women and adolescent girls,” said Dr. Shahnaz Shallwani, UNFPA Provincial Coordinator in Karachi. “UNFPA is also providing psycho-social and protection services to survivors of gender based violence.’’
As part of a recent consolidated appeal, UNFPA requested $3.8 million to address urgent reproductive health needs, including emergency obstetric services. Approximately 440 women go into labour every day, 60 of whom may have potentially life threatening pregnancy-related complications. According to Rabbi Royan, UNFPA’s Representative in Pakistan, the funding gap will need to be met in order to ensure that pregnant women can deliver safely in the next six months.
UNFPA also distributed hygiene kits and newborn and safe delivery kits to 600,000 people in the floods affected districts. Additional supplies of hygiene and reproductive health kits are being procured to cater to the needs one million people in the next month.
At the government’s request, UNFPA has initiated a comprehensive reproductive health and gender-based violence assessment in the affected districts in Sindh. The assessment will help address all aspects of reproductive health, protection needs, and ensure sustainable comprehensive emergency obstetric services for the women in the flood affected areas for the coming months.
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