UNFPA emergency medical supplies arrive in Baghdad
A new shipment of emergency reproductive health supplies, intended to meet the urgent needs of Iraqi women, arrived in Baghdad on June 9, 2003. The supplies, provided by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), were dispatched on a UNFPA/United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) convoy that crossed the border from the Iranian city of Kermanshah.
The UNFPA shipment, facilitated by the Iranian Ministry of Health and Medical Education, included much-needed emergency obstetric care materials, clean delivery equipment, contraceptives, syringes, essential drugs and other medical products. Gynecological beds, wheel chairs, sanitary pads, baby diapers, clothing, and more drugs will be included in another convoy to be dispatched shortly by the UNFPA office in Iran.
The UNFPA is currently conducting an emergency assessment of 18 hospitals and 30 primary health-care centers providing reproductive health and family planning services around Baghdad. The assessment is undertaken in collaboration with a number of international health partners operating in Iraq, including Enfants du Monde, Première Urgence and Architects for People in Need.
The current shipment—and subsequent UNFPA medical supplies delivered into Baghdad—will be distributed to health centers based on the results of the new assessment, which is scheduled to be completed at the end of June.
This is the second shipment of reproductive health equipment and supplies provided by the UNFPA to Iraqi hospitals since the end of the armed conflict in April. The first was delivered almost a month ago to the northern city of Mosul.
The UNFPA, the world's largest multilateral source of population assistance, has been active in Iraq since 1972—with a brief interruption in the early 1990s—working to improve access to reproductive health and family-planning services.
As a result of its efforts, the number of primary health-care facilities providing reproductive health services increased from 37 in 1995 to 146 in 2001. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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