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|UNFPA in Vietnam provides medical equipment and supplies to ensure uninterrupted provision of sexual and reproductive health services in COVID-19 context|
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 recent floods.
These essential medical equipment and supplies were delivered to Vietnam’s Ministry of Health in the handover ceremony held this morning attended by Phan Le Thu Hang, Deputy Director of the Department of Planning and Finance of the Ministry of Health and Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative in Vietnam.
Since the first positive case was reported, the government of Vietnam has taken proactive actions to contain COVID-19. As of January 4, there are 1,494 confirmed cases with 35 deaths.
A recent UNFPA’s modeling study estimated that in the worst-case scenario, maternal deaths could increase by 65 per cent in the country in 2020, equivalent to additional 443 maternal deaths, as a negative impact of COVID-19.
This can reverse developmental gains that Vietnam has achieved in the last several years, possibly threatening the achievement of SDG 3. As seen globally throughout 2020 and at the beginning of last year in Vietnam, COVID-19 can stretch and overwhelm the health system, and 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.
“Today, we are delivering 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,” said Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative in Vietnam.
Dr Phan Le Thu Hang, Deputy Director of the Planning and Finance Department highly appreciated UNFPA's support and affirmed that “Protecting all people’s health during the COVID-19 epidemic is the top priority of the Government, especially for pregnant women who reside in ethnic minority and disasters affected regions. To protect health workers is vital to effectively combat the COVID-19”.
“Pregnancy and childbirth do not stop in the pandemic situation. Let’s put the brakes on COVID-19 and its negative impact and safeguard the health and the right of women and girls - now”, added Kitahara at the handover ceremony.
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. Sexual and reproductive health is a human right. UNFPA calls upon its partners to support our COVID-19 response to procure and deliver essential supplies for people who are most at risk such as pregnant women and women at risk of gender-based violence.
UNFPA is the UN’s sexual and reproductive health agency, working towards a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.