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UNICEF Chief of Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Renee Van de Weerdt describes the health issues facing many Haitian children ...
and mothers, who were already at risk before the earthquake.
Tags:importance of maternal and newborn health in Haiti,Maternal and Newborn Health in Haiti,unicef,UNICEF Chief of Maternal Newborn and Child Health,united nations childrens fund
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Importance of Maternal and Newborn Health in Haiti
Female: UNICEF Chief of Newborn and Maternal Health, Renee Van de Weerdt discusses the risks facing infants and expecting mothers in Haiti.
Renee Van de Weerdt: The situation in Haiti even before the crisis wasn’t optimal. The health system was relatively weak. The immunization coverage wasn’t optimal for polio for example. Only 57% of children were immunized so we know that we have very vulnerable situation and in front of us. Children were already weaker if you will before this. The risks of malnutrition before this crisis were also relatively high so we know that we have to do it a very vulnerable population.
We have been sending out emergency kits, health kits that will be delivered to hospitals and health centers. There will be essential drugs such as oral rehydrations salts, antibiotics. We need to look at the maternal health and the newborn health. Do they need kids to deliver babies for C-sections?
Some of the child interventions, we can take care free modally without a function and hospital. But when a women needs to have a Caesarean section, we need to have that hospital in place. And so we’re working very closely with WHO, with the government, and other departments to make sure that women can deliver safely.
We have thousands of tons coming in, so the first time our public feeding centers would probably be in tons. The first immunization post or house post will also be in tons or in temporary shelters. Because I do think that shelter or even for own stuff is one of the biggest programs that we’re facing today.
Female: That was Renee Van de Weerdt, UNICEF Chief of Newborn and Maternal Health. For more information, visit UNICEF.org. Unite for Children