Press Release

UNFPA supports Viet Nam's response to COVID-19

3 April 2020

HA NOI, 3 April 2020 – As part of the United Nations' response to support the Government of Viet Nam’s efforts to contain and mitigate the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Viet Nam, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is delivering critical supplies including hand sanitizer products for pregnant women as well as women delivering a baby and in prenatal and postnatal care and frontline health workers attending them in Ha Noi city, the epicenter of the epidemic in the country. This is UNFPA’s Phase 1 and initial support with 7,000 bottles of sanitizers.

The supplies have been delivered today to the Department of Planning and Finance of the Ministry of Health (MOH), which will make them available to the prioritized maternal and reproductive health facilities located in Ha Noi including National Gynecology and Obstetrics Hospital, Ha Noi Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital, maternity wards and other selected health facilities offering sexual and reproductive health services. In order to ensure speedy delivery, products have been procured as a priority item from the local market by UNFPA.

Since the first positive case was reported, the government of Viet Nam has taken proactive actions to contain the COVID-19 epidemic. As of 3 April 2020, the number of confirmed cases in the country has risen to 233. The increase in recent confirmed cases in Ha Noi has largely been associated with medical facilities. Safe pregnancy and childbirth depend on strict adherence to infection prevention control measures against COVID-19, and pregnant women with respiratory illnesses must be treated with utmost priority due to increased risk of adverse outcomes from COVID-19.
 
The Ministry of Health highly appreciated UNFPA's support and affirmed that protecting all people’s health during the COVID-19 epidemic is the top priority of the Government, especially for vulnerable groups, including pregnant women and health workers who are combatting the COVID-19 outbreak.

“It Is imperative that we support the Ministry of Health and all the heroes of this country today – all the people working in the health sector, especially the front liners, who risk their health and safety for people in responding to this emergency. The protection of health workers must be a top priority during the COVID-19 epidemic response.”

“We would like to express our solidarity with all Vietnamese people as we face the COVID-19 epidemic together. Alongside all UN agencies, UNFPA stands ready to provide any assistance we can to support the national response to the epidemic, paying particular attention to vulnerable groups such as pregnant women,” said Ms. Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative in Viet Nam.

As with most crises, this epidemic can disrupt access to life-saving sexual and reproductive health services and limit authorities’ ability to respond to gender-based violence, at a time when women and girls need these services at most. UNFPA is working with governments and partners globally to prioritize the particular needs of women and girls, in line with our transformative results - to achieve zero preventable maternal deaths, zero unmet need for family planning, and zero gender-based violence and harmful practices against women and girls by 2030.

UNFPA calls upon its partners to support our COVID-19 response to procure and deliver essential supplies for people who are most at risk such as pregnant women and women at risk of gender-based violence.

UNFPA is the UN’s sexual and reproductive health agency, working towards a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Nguyen Thi Hong Thanh
UNFPA Communications
Mob: 0913 093363
Email: tnguyen@unfpa.org