UNFPA reaches pregnant, lactating women in storm-hit Philippines

Two weeks after tropical storm Washi wreaked havoc in the Philippines, pregnant and lactating women are receiving the attention they need.

The latest figures from the Philippine government show the storm and resulting flood affected more than 640,000 people — 12,000 of whom are pregnant and lactating women who need life-saving assistance.

In response, the U.N. Population Fund is distributing clean delivery kits, including soap, a clean razor blade, a plastic sheet and a blanket, to 8,500 pregnant women. It is mobilizing youth volunteers to collect vital data on pregnant and lactating women, and help raise awareness of available medical services. UNFPA is deploying medical teams composed of doctors, midwives and other health workers to affected areas.

The agency, which is currently seeking $1.4 million in funding to scale up its operations in the country, also plans to distribute 35,000 hygiene kits — which consist of soap, changing garments, towels, sanitary pads and toilet paper — to women and girls, including 4,200 breastfeeding mothers in and near evacuation centers.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.