A modeling study by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Vietnam shows that maternal deaths could increase by 65% by the end of 2020 on the impacts of Covid-19 on maternal mortality in the worst scenario.
|Ms. Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative in Vietnam handles support to the Ministry of Health. Photo: UNFPA Vietnam|
It is equivalent to additional 443 maternal deaths as a negative impact of Covid-19.
This will possibly threaten the country's achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.
The Covid-19 pandemic that began in Vietnam early last year can overwhelm the health system. In such situation, pregnant women tend to postpone or cancel antenatal care visits and other pregnancy-related appointments due to fear of infection. This can prevent the identification of pregnancy risks and complications, which can lead to unnecessary maternal deaths.
For that reason, UNFPA in Vietnam has intensified support to maintain provision of sexual and reproductive health services for beneficiaries in the country amid uncertainties caused by Covid-19.
On January 7, UNFPA Vietnam provided 64 fetus monitors along with the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) worth US$300,000 to assist the country in ensuring the continuous delivery of quality sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services.
The medical equipment and supplies will be distributed to prioritized district hospitals located in the Northern Mountain and Central Highland, as well as some central provinces which have been heavily affected by the floods in 2020.
Ms. Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative in Vietnam said they have delivered medical equipment and supplies to complement the efforts of the government in containing Covid-19 to make sure essential SRH services are provided in a continuous way.
“Covid-19 is not yet a matter of the past even in a successful country like Vietnam in containing it. Now is the time to prepare health facilities and workers to protect pregnant women,” she said.
The support is aimed to make sure that essential services are provided in a continuous way for pregnant mothers, newborns, and children, particularly among the most vulnerable groups such as migrant workers and ethnic minorities, according to Ms. Naomi Kitahara.
In early December 2020, UNFPA’s sexual and reproductive health agency has intensified its support to help Vietnam’s women meet special health needs in aid worth US$1.34 million.
In November, Ms. Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative in Vietnam handed over the dignity kits to female farmers in affected areas.