News

“Absolutely essential” – Hon. Julie Bishop on reproductive health kits

Date: 15/03/2016

UNFPA Pacific, Suva, Fiji (March 15, 2016) - The Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Honourable Julie Bishop underlined the necessity of clean delivery kits and dignity kits at a ceremonial hand-over of health supplies donated by Australia at Rakiraki Hospital on March 14.

"Absolutely essential...and life-saving too," Hon Bishop reacted to a United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), briefing by Pacific Sub-Regional Office Director Dr. Laurent Zessler in one of the Cyclone Winston worst-hit areas.

IPPF Sub-Regional Office head Michael Sami (far left), UNFPA Pacific Sub-Regional Office Director and Representative Dr Laurent Zessler, Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Julie Bishop and Fiji Minister of Health and Medical Services Hon Jone Usamate (far right) share a light moment after the formalities of the ceremonial hand-over of reproductive health-related assistance from the Government of Australia, at Rakiraki Hospital March 14, which is one of the worst-hit areas. Picture: UNFPA PSRO/Ariela Zibiah.

"It is much appreciated. We've been doing well in partnerships," she added. The UNFPA was the first United Nations development agency to visit Rakiraki Hospital when it took the first batch of clean delivery kits and dignity kits on February 27.

UNFPA support to the response efforts of the Government of Fiji has largely been channeled through the Ministry of Health and Medical Services in the form of dignity kits and emergency clean delivery kits. UNFPA was able to preposition the latter with help from the Government of Australia.

Dignity kits are intended to address the basic hygiene needs of women including undergarments, sanitary pads and shirts as well as some items for protection such as a torch. Emergency clean delivery kits are sanitized delivery packs for clean and safe deliveries in emergency situations that prevent regular autoclaving of medical equipment.

UNFPA has procured 12 types of emergency reproductive health kits most of which consist of equipment and supplies necessary for damaged health facilities to be able to resume provision of life-saving reproductive health services the soonest time possible.

Another 4,400 dignity kits have been procured by UNFPA for distribution to women and girls including pregnant and lactating women. The dignity kits will be distributed through the public health outreach missions of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services as well as through the Women-Friendly Spaces that will be set-up in the most affected villages.

Since the Category 5 severe tropical cyclone Winston on February 20, the UNFPA has successfully sought additional funding from the Government of Australia (AU$400,000.00) and from the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (US$500,000.00).

"The needs of everyone including women and girls must be addressed as well during our response; the UNFPA continues to work very closely with Government ministries to ensure our approach and contribution are targeted and therefore more effective." Dr Zessler said.

For more information please contact Ariela Zibiah - Email: [email protected] Landline: +679 3230711 Cell: +679 9991697

Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Julie Bishop is escorted to the door by UNFPA Pacific Sub-Regional Office Director and Representative Dr Laurent Zessler after formalities of the ceremonial hand-over of reproductive health kits at Rakiraki Hospital March 14; UNFPA was the first development agency to visit the hospital on February 27 with clean delivery kits which it was able to preposition with assistance from the Government of Australia. Rakiraki Hospital is the main referral hospital in one of the worst-hit areas by Cyclone Winston. Picture: UNFPA Pacific/Ariela Zibiah.