Press Release

UNFPA Sends Emergency Supplies to Solomon Islands to Enable Pregnant Women to Deliver Safely

9 April 2007
Author: UNFPA

SUVA, Fiji — To ensure that expectant mothers affected by last week’s earthquake and tsunami can deliver their babies in a safe and clean environment, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, has sent emergency reproductive health kits and equipment to the Solomon Islands.

After the 2 April tsunami destroyed several southern coastal villages on Gizo Island, the United Nations Country Team immediately sent a Disaster Assessment Team to the area.

“The Government reports that their hospital supplies have been significantly damaged and basic medical supplies have run out,” said Najib Assifi, UNFPA Representative and Director of the Country Technical Services Team, UNFPA Office for the Pacific. “We believe these emergency supplies are crucial in making deliveries safe and reducing preventable maternal deaths.”

Last December, UNFPA created a regional stockpile of emergency provisions for clinical and home deliveries, testing for sexually transmitted infections, and other reproductive health supplies. “This forward planning has enabled us to respond early to this disaster,” Mr. Assifi noted.

A UNFPA reproductive health specialist is in the Solomon Islands this week assisting in the distribution of emergency medical supplies and assessing further needs in affected areas.

***

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.

Contact Information:

Najib Assifi
UNFPA Representative, Country Technical Services Team, Suva
Tel.: (679) 3308022
Fax: (679) 3312785
Email: assifi@unfpa.org

Solomon Islands
Population : 0.7 mil
Fertility rate
4.3
Maternal Mortality Ratio
104
Contraceptives prevalence rate
24
Population aged 10-24
30.5%

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