Australia and UNFPA hand over emergency maternity tents to DOH
MANILA, Philippines, 1 July 2019 — Australian Embassy Deputy Head of Mission, Mat Kimberley, and UNFPA Representative in the Philippines, Iori Kato handed over three emergency maternity tents to Department of Health (DOH). The maternity tents will help DOH to support the critical health needs of pregnant women during emergencies.
“We hope that these maternity tents will provide pregnant women with access to services for safe pregnancy and childbirth, especially in times of crises when these needs are often overlooked,” Mr Kimberley said.
"In times of crisis, it is more important than ever to protect the dignity, safety and reproductive health of pregnant women and new mothers as they become even more vulnerable,” noted Mr Kato.
Pregnant women risk life-threatening complications during disasters and other emergencies due to limited access to quality reproductive health services such as skilled birth attendants and emergency obstetric care.
Each emergency maternity tent is equipped with a hospital bed, wheelchair, foldable stretcher, generator, examination table, as well as emergency reproductive health kits that will equip doctors, midwives and nurses to perform safe deliveries even in evacuation centres. Each tent can support at least 200 safe deliveries over three months.
Following the handover, the tents will be deployed to three hospitals with the capacity to mobilize Emergency Medical Teams (EMT) across the Philippines; namely, Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center in Leyte, Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital in Metro Manila, and Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital in Pampanga.
Inclusion of emergency maternity tents in the EMTs will ensure that sexual and reproductive health services are part of the rapid, professional and coordinated medical response of DOH during disasters and emergencies.
The Australian Government and UNFPA attended DOH’s flag-raising ceremony to mark the beginning of the National Disaster Resilience Month.