UN reproductive health agency gifts equipment to Vietnam

By Minh Nga   January 9, 2021 | 11:00 am GMT+7
UN reproductive health agency gifts equipment to Vietnam
A doctor, wearing protection gear to protect against Covid-19, performs an ultrasound scan on a pregnant woman at the National Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hanoi, April 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Le Nga.
The United Nations Population Fund in Vietnam has donated medical equipment worth $300,000 to support maternal healthcare.

The equipment and supplies, handed over to the Ministry of Health on Thursday, will be sent to hospitals in remote areas in the northern mountains and Central Highlands besides some central provinces that were severely affected by floods and landslides a few months ago.

A recent study by the UNFPA, the U.N.’s sexual and reproductive health agency, said in the worst-case scenario maternal deaths in Vietnam could have increased by 65 percent or 443 from last year due to Covid-19.

It is possible that Covid-19 could overwhelm the healthcare system and also prompt pregnant women to postpone or cancel antenatal care visits and other pregnancy-related appointments due to fear of infection, it said.

This could prevent the identification of pregnancy risks and complications, leading to unnecessary maternal deaths, it said.

"Today we are delivering medical equipment and supplies to complement the efforts of the government in containing Covid-19 to make sure essential sexual and reproductive healthcare services are provided continuously," Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA representative in Vietnam, said.

Covid-19 has not yet passed even in a successful country like Vietnam, and now is the time to prepare health facilities and workers to protect pregnant women, she said.

As of Saturday Vietnam has had 1,512 cases of Covid-19 and 35 deaths.

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