20,000 earthquake-affected women and girls in Afghanistan need access to safe and dignified childbirth kits – Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan – Nearly 20,000 women of childbearing age, including 1,929 who are currently pregnant, are among those affected by the deadly earthquake that shook Afghanistan’s Paktika and Khost provinces last week.

Of the pregnant women, 648 are in their last trimester or are expected to give birth within the next three months. These women need sustained access to life-saving reproductive health services, such as skilled birth attendants, facility deliveries, and referral to comprehensive emergency obstetric and neonatal care, if needed.

The United Nations Population Fund, through its partner the Afghanistan Relief and Development Agency (AADA), supported the deployment of five mobile health teams to affected areas to support health facilities flooded with a flood of earthquake survivors who needed immediate medical attention.

To ensure safe deliveries amid the overwhelming demand for medical care, UNFPA and partners initially distributed 10 clean delivery kits benefiting approximately 2,000 pregnant women who cannot attend a facility. to give birth safely during the emergency to avoid life-threatening infections. Clean delivery kits contain the most basic essential supplies such as a plastic sheet, blanket, sterile gloves, soap, razor blade and umbilical cord.

Two family health houses also supported by UNFPA in Paktika remain open and functional and continue to provide maternal and reproductive services to women and girls, as well as general health services, particularly for earthquake victims.

Twelve midwives recently trained by UNFPA have been deployed to support the provision of emergency maternal and newborn health services in Paktika, with six midwives deployed to Sharan Provincial Hospital and six to district hospitals of Urgon and Giyan.

In addition to providing health services, the mobile health team also provides psychosocial support and services and distributes 1,000 dignity kits for women and girls in affected areas with support from the Organization for the Promotion and health management (OHPM). Dignity kits help ensure that women and girls can access hygiene supplies for their particular needs, including for menstruation. The kit contains basic hygiene items like reusable sanitary napkins, soap and underwear.

UNFPA is working closely with partners in devastated areas to support the coordination of humanitarian assistance to the most affected populations, with a particular focus on the needs of women and girls.

This response adds to UNFPA’s full commitment to responding to the overall humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan since the August 2021 takeover of the de facto Taliban government. At the beginning of this year, UNFPA appeals for $251.9 million in funding meet the reproductive health and psychosocial support and services needs of 9.2 million people. So far, UNFPA has only received 21% of the appeal. With other crises occurring, such as the devastating earthquake, it is necessary to gather the necessary resources to meet the urgent needs of people in need of humanitarian assistance.

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For more information contact:

Zaeem Abdul Rahman

Email: [email protected]

Mobile: +93 799 714 314

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