Shortages Reveal Low Priority of Women ’s Health in Nepal

Chiring Tamang holds the family’s new baby while his wife Priya looks on. She delivered the girl at home in their village in Nepal’s Sindhupalchowk district in February 2021. Credit: Marty Logan / IPSBy Marty LoganKathmandu, Nepal, Jul 21 2021 (IPS) One year after Nepal’s Ministry of Health (MoH) appealed to international organisations in the country to urgently supply a drug used to stop excessive bleeding after childbirth, a UN agency has delivered $1 million worth of contraceptives to prevent another shortage. The 1.6 million cycles of oral contraceptive pills and 776,000 units of injectable contraceptives and syringes will prevent roughly 75 000 unintended pregnancies, 22 000 unsafe abortions and 80 maternal deaths, according to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). As it was last year at this time, Nepal is at the tail end of a lockdown designed to break a runaway number of Covid-19 cases. Between April and May 2021, daily cases went from 150 to more than 8,000—fuelled by outbreaks in neighbouring India. Intensive care unit beds were unavailable in most hospitals in the capital Kathmandu and some cities on the southern border with India, and patients attached to oxygen tanks were forced into hospital parking lots. Crematoriums had to be expanded to accommodate the dead. More than 9 500 people have died, and 667 000 had been infected as of 18 July, according to official figures, which are widely considered to underestimate the true impact. “This s...
Source: IPS Inter Press Service - Health - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Tags: Asia-Pacific COVID-19 Featured Gender Headlines Health Human Rights Humanitarian Emergencies Inequity TerraViva United Nations Women's Health contraceptives UNFPA United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Source Type: news

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