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The COVID-19 crisis has taken a heavy toll on the people, communities, and economies around the world. Given its unequal impact, women and girls tend to be most severely affected. Natural disasters, another threat to mother and newborn health, also occurred in 2020 in the Central Region and Central Highlands of Viet Nam. Tens of thousands of women of reproductive age, pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and girls have faced difficulties in accessing medical, sexual and reproductive healthcare services as health establishments were flooded, their facilities and equipment were badly damaged while the rectification of the consequences was challenging.

UNPFA realized the alarming situation after conducting a modelling study in 2020 on the impact of COVID-19 on maternal mortality, which could reverse Viet Nam’s success in reducing maternal mortality that has been accomplished in the last few years, threatening the achievement of the targets under the Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG 3).

One of the necessary solutions to this issue is ensuring the delivery of quality sexual and reproductive health services in a safe and uninterrupted manner so that expectant mothers could be at ease when going in for an antenatal visit. To achieve this, UNFPA has delivered a large number of personal protective equipment and 64 doppler fetal monitors worth USD 300,000 to district-level hospitals of 9 mountainous provinces in the North and Central Highlands, as well as some provinces severely affected by the recent floods.

The UNFPA’s support was delivered to hospitals and other health establishments and immediately put to use to protect women and girls as well as health workers in disadvantaged areas. UNFPA is working to ensure that the supply of modern contraceptives and reproductive health commodities is maintained and that midwives and other health personnel have the personal protective equipment they need to stay safe. Sexual and reproductive health is a human right. 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.