Over half million pregnant women in dire need of medical services in flood-hit areas
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), a sexual and reproductive health agency, has highlighted the affliction of Pakistani women caused by the catastrophic floods, saying that over half a million pregnant women in the flood-hit areas are in dire need of maternal health services.
The UN agency also warned that many women and girls are at increased risk of gender-based violence (GBV) as nearly 1 million houses have been damaged in the floods.
73,000 women are expected to give birth by next month and will need skilled birth attendants, newborn care and support, the agency said.
The agency added that pregnancy and childbirth cannot wait for emergencies or natural calamities to end as a woman and child need the most care.
UNFPA Pakistan Representative Dr Bakhtior Kadirov said that, UNFPA is working with partners to ensure that pregnant women and new mothers receive life-saving services even in the most difficult situations.
According to the United Nations agency, more than 1,000 health facilities were partially or completely damaged in Sindh, while 198 health facilities were damaged in the flood affected districts of Balochistan.
Damage to roads and bridges has further affected access to health facilities for girls and women, the agency added.
Dr Kadirov said that the UNFPA will continue supporting health facilities with the equipment and human resources to be fully operational despite the challenges.
“UNFPA is scaling up its emergency response to provide life-saving reproductive health services and commodities, including dignity kits, for women and girls,” the report read.
Meanwhile, UNFPA Pakistan has already started the distribution of 8,311 dignity kits, 7,411 Newborn Baby Kits, and 6,412 Clean Delivery Kits for immediate delivery to Sindh, Balochistan, KP, and Punjab.