GAROWE, 10 March 2017 — In response to the humanitarian crisis caused by the ongoing drought in Somalia, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is contributing lifesaving assistance through the provision of emergency reproductive health kits for pregnant women affected by the drought in the Puntland State of Somalia.
The reproductive health kits, containing essential drugs, equipment and supplies needed to provide reproductive health care in crises will benefit 20,000 pregnant women. The kits contain reusable and disposable clinical delivery kits for providing safe deliveries in eight health facilities in the region which offer Basic Emergency Obstetric Care services and for managing complicated referral cases in Bosaso and Garowe hospitals. The kits have been delivered to the central warehouse of the Puntland Ministry of Health.
Close to 6.2 million people in Somalia are currently in need of humanitarian assistance and about 3.3 million people require immediate access to emergency health services and hygiene. Of them, more than 130,000 are pregnant women and may require critical assistance.
According to UNFPA Somalia Representative, Mr. Nikolai Botev, limited access to reproductive health services puts the lives of many women and babies at high risk during emergencies. He said in crisis situations, the needs for shelter, food and security are rightly given urgent attention but the specific needs of women and girls are too often overlooked.
“Somalia already has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. One out of every 22 women here dies due to pregnancy-related causes and the situation is currently being worsened by the drought. We are therefore working on ensuring that we cater for reproductive health needs of the affected women,” said Mr. Botev.
The UNFPA Somalia Representative commended the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) and the World Food Programme (WFP) for supporting the transportation and logistical processes of delivering the reproductive health kits to Puntland.