The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Vietnam has increased its medical and supplies support to ensure uninterrupted provision of sexual and reproductive health services in areas affected by devastating floods in October 2020.
|Dr. Nguyen Duc Vinh, deputy director of the MOH’s Maternal and Child Health and Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative in Vietnam. Photo: UNFPA Vietnam|
Together with its previous support, UNFPA provides a total of 1,071 Doppler fetal heartrate detectors worth US$130,000 to protect the lives of pregnant women in Vietnam.
The medical equipment will be distributed to prioritized district hospitals located in the Central Highland and Central provinces with financial support from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund and UNFPA.
The essential medical equipment were delivered to Vietnam’s Ministry of Health (MoH) in the handover ceremony held on April 2 with the attendance of Dr. Nguyen Duc Vinh, deputy director of the MoH's Maternal and Child Health and Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative in Vietnam.
The support is expected to maintain essential services for pregnant mothers, newborns, and children, particularly among the most vulnerable groups such as migrant workers and ethnic minorities. "No woman should die giving birth, and this must hold true even in emergencies," said Naomi Kitahara.
Nguyen Duc Vinh said that emergency aid must be always the top priority of the government, especially for pregnant women and women with small children who reside in disasters affected regions. UNFPA’s support will help the local healthcare system to respond to the negative impacts of natural disasters.
|Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative in Vietnam. Photo: UNFPA Vietnam|
“Pregnancy and menstruation do not stop in emergencies, and as such uninterrupted services for sexual and reproductive health must be provided to women and girls. Let’ work together to safeguard the health and rights of women and girls – now!” Kitahara noted.
Unprecedented flooding, prolonged downpours and successive typhoons since early October 2020 resulted in more than 200 deaths and displaced thousands of people in the country’s central coastal and highland regions.
At least 7.7 million people have been affected, including roughly 1.34 million women of reproductive age with 92,075 of them being pregnant.
Given devastated health facilities, routine public health programs such as antenatal, child birth, and post-natal care have been disrupted. Women and girls are unable to access basic health care services, including sexual and reproductive health.
UNFPA is working to ensure that the supply of modern contraceptives and reproductive health commodities is maintained and that midwives and other health personnel have the personal protective equipment they need to stay safe.