News

At high-level UN meeting, Afghan women call for support

At high-level UN meeting, Afghan women call for support
Afghan women are calling for continued support for their health, rights and families. Image courtesy of OCHA.
  • 17 September 2021

UNITED NATIONS, New York – “My country is in a humanitarian crisis,” said Yalda Royan, an Afghan women’s rights advocate, speaking ahead of a high-level meeting on the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, held at the United Nations on Monday. “Eighteen million Afghans are in need of humanitarian aid, the majority of whom are women and children.”

News

Student midwives persevere amid conflict and pandemic in Afghanistan

Student midwives persevere amid conflict and pandemic in Afghanistan
Midwifery students learn critical life-saving skills. © UNFPA Afghanistan
  • 12 August 2021

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – The COVID-19 pandemic is not the only crisis preventing students from attending class. The recent and intensified conflicts all over Afghanistan, particularly in Kandahar Province, have also resulted in widespread fear and movement restrictions – especially among women.  

News

Midwifery training helps doctors, nurses level up their skills in rural China

Midwifery training helps doctors, nurses level up their skills in rural China
Dr. Cairen Sangji conducts an antenatal examination for a local Tibetan woman in Yushu, Qinghai Province. Image courtesy of Yushu County Maternal and Child Health Hospital
  • 03 August 2021

YUSHU, China – Midwifery training is not just for midwives. In fact, many kinds of health professionals can have midwifery skills – the medical knowledge and techniques necessary to facilitate safe childbirth.

In Yushu County, part of China's northwest Qinghai Province, midwifery training is helping not only nurses and nurse-midwives, but even physicians, who say the training has improved their skills when providing sexual and reproductive health services.  

News

Midwives bring portable ultrasound technology to remote communities in Kenya

Midwives bring portable ultrasound technology to remote communities in Kenya
A midwife examines a pregnant woman using the portable ultrasound device. © UNFPA Kenya
  • 15 July 2021

MFANGANO ISLAND, Kenya – In her four years at Sena Health Centre, midwife Goretti Adhiambo has seen too many lives lost to complications in pregnancy and childbirth. “We provide all the basic maternal health services at the health centre including antenatal care, but complicated cases have to be referred to the mainland hospital for specialized care,” she explained. 

News

Tigray conflict decimates maternal health services, overwhelms health workers

Tigray conflict decimates maternal health services, overwhelms health workers
Ms. Merhawit (right) sits with her aunt at the maternity ward in Suhul Hospital, Shire. © UNFPA Ethiopia/Paula Seijo
  • 07 July 2021

SHIRE, Tigray, Ethiopia – “When the conflict broke out, I was two months pregnant. We were forced to flee and walk for days under the blazing sun to reach safety and protection,” said Merhawit Gebremedhin, who is from the town of Dansha in Western Tigray, the Ethiopian region that has been embattled since November 2020. 

Ms. Merhawit had been an accountant, and had saved up to give her baby a safe, loving home and a promising start. But then the conflict mowed through her town, shuttering access to critical health services.

News

With COVID-19 heralding possible fertility changes, leaders must urgently support women’s rights and choices

With COVID-19 heralding possible fertility changes, leaders must urgently support women’s rights and choices
A mobile health clinic, supported by UNFPA and the Spotlight Initiative, brings critical family planning and other services to underserved parts of Mozambique. ©UNFPA Mozambique/Mbuto Machili
  • 08 July 2021

CHISINAU, Moldova/TETE PROVINCE, Mozambique/CARACAS, Venezuela – “I don’t want to be scared anymore,” 26-year-old Maira Opikuko told UNFPA in Zulia, Venezuela. “I already have six children. I don’t want to have any more children.” 

News

As Afghanistan grapples with surge in COVID-19 cases, one midwife shares her strength

As Afghanistan grapples with surge in COVID-19 cases, one midwife shares her strength
Mastura Zia provides maternal health services to Afghan returnees, many of them deported from neighbouring Iran. © Zaeem Abdul Rahman/UNFPA Afghanistan
  • 23 June 2021

HERAT CITY, Afghanistan – Mastura Zia, a 27-year-old midwife in Herat, does not mince words when describing the hardships of the global pandemic: “2020 was the hardest year of my life,” she said.

Ms. Zia is a frontline responder at the Gazargah Transit Centre, providing reproductive health services to deportees who have returned to Afghanistan from Iran. When the pandemic struck, around February 2020, tens of thousands of undocumented Afghans were deported, flooding the transit centre.

News

After giving birth under a bridge amid hurricane wreckage, recovery remains a distant prospect for Honduran mother

After giving birth under a bridge amid hurricane wreckage, recovery remains a distant prospect for Honduran mother
A pregnant woman receives care at a shelter in the aftermath of two devastating storms in Honduras. © UNFPA Honduras
  • 03 June 2021

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Fabiola Ulloa, 23, gave birth under the bridge where she had taken shelter from a raging hurricane. Six months later, she is still there, with her new baby, partner and 3-year-old son, living in a tent beside the road. 

“My sister and I were both pregnant during the storm,” Ms. Ulloa told UNFPA in an interview in her nylon tent earlier this week. “That night was very sad. I didn’t get a chance to get my things out because I had to take care of my mom, my sister and my child.”

News

Piloting drones to deliver life-saving products for women in rural Botswana

Piloting drones to deliver life-saving products for women in rural Botswana
Health staff and officials gather around the drone at Lecheng Clinic, one of the four health facilities chosen for the pilot project. © UNFPA Botswana
  • 24 May 2021

PALAPYE, Botswana – This month, Botswana became one of the first countries in Southern Africa to pilot drone technology for health-care delivery. The Drones for Health pilot project aims to reduce preventable maternal deaths by delivering maternal health supplies and commodities – including essential obstetric care drugs, blood, blood products and laboratory specimens –  particularly in hard-to-reach communities and health facilities.
 

News

In crisis after crisis, mothers around the world are asked to do the impossible

In crisis after crisis, mothers around the world are asked to do the impossible
A new mother of twins is attended by maternal health nurse Ana Paula Francisco Adrade. Nurse Adrade says it has been challenging to get enough gloves and face masks to safely care for pregnant women. © UNFPA Mozambique
  • 05 May 2021

UNITED NATIONS, New York ‒ “We were all alone, all the time,” Tatuli Paghava, 31, told UNFPA in Georgia, explaining how the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified hardships for mothers. 

“Everything got harder... especially for the mothers who are doing everything alone,” added Ani Mardaleishvili, 32, also in Georgia. She works in finance and also manages her 4-year-old daughter’s remote learning. “And I’m expecting a second child soon,” she said. 

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