Beijing, China, 24 February 2020 – As part of the United Nations response to support the Government of China’s efforts to contain and mitigate the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in China, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is delivering critical medical supplies and sanitary items such as sanitary napkins and diapers for the frontline health workers, women - particularly pregnant women - and girls in Hubei Province, the epicenter of the epidemic.
By 23 February, the first batch of 262,200 pieces of sanitary napkins have arrived in Wuhan, Huanggang and Xiaogan, three cities of Hubei province that are among the most affected areas. In the coming days, 315,200 pieces of adult diapers will also be delivered to Hubei. The supplies will be given to the frontline service providers, female health workers and patients to protect their health, maintain their hygiene and dignity during this special period of time. Thirty-three pieces of eight types of life-saving medical equipment, as well as 639 pieces of accessories, are on the way to Hubei to be distributed to hospitals and health facilities looking after patients infected with the virus.
“The protection needs of women and girls must be at the center of response efforts. Part of why we are doing this is to ensure there is a focus on sustaining the accessibility of vulnerable women and girls to quality sexual and reproductive health services as part of the response,” said Dr. Babatunde Ahonsi, UNFPA Representative in China.
The China Ministry of Commerce, National Health Commission, All-China Women’s Federation and local authorities are providing coordination and delivery support.
In view of the evolving COVID-19 situation in China and safety and health of the frontline health workers, UNFPA will donate more personal protective equipment in the coming weeks. The estimated value of total UNFPA donated supplies will be around USD480,000.
Early in February, Dr. Natalia Kanem, the UNFPA Executive Director sent a letter of solidarity and support to the Government of China, and committed UNFPA’s support to complement the Government of China’s current efforts to contain and control the epidemic. On 6 February, UNFPA Asia and the Pacific Regional Office issued a guidance document on 2019 novel coronavirus. It highlighted the importance of providing integrated sexual and reproductive health information and services, as an essential service package during the outbreak.