21 February 2005 Male’, Maldives – In times of upheaval, pregnancy-related complications soar. Reproductive health services – including prenatal care, assisted delivery, and emergency obstetric care – often become unavailable. Since the day of the Tsunami disaster UNPFA has been closely collaborating with the Ministry of Health in normalizing the reproductive health services of the islands most affected.
UNFPA is already providing clean delivery medicines and equipment, as well as other life-saving reproductive health supplies, to the impacted atolls. In addition, the Fund is providing essential supplies such as sanitary napkins to women of reproductive age and mother and baby kits for the expecting mothers in the displaced communities. Two gynaecologists and one nurse-midwife will be placed in the Regional Hospitals of Meemu Atoll in Muli and Laamu Atoll Gan.
While based in these health facilities, they will travel to surrounding islands as necessary to deliver reproductive health services including family planning counselling to the affected families and communities in these atolls.The Ministry of Health warmly welcomed the services being offered to these island communities.
Speaking at the briefing session for the gynaecologists, the Director General of Health Services, Dr. Abdul Azeez Yoosuf said that “although the number of persons on these islands maybe small, in the case of a delivery complication to transport them by boat would be a battle between life and death.”