News

Nepal earthquake has affected 1.4 million women of reproductive age including 93,000 pregnant

15 May 2015

The devastating April 25 earthquake has affected a total of 1.4 million women and girls of reproductive age in the 14 most affected districts, according an estimation by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.

UNFPA estimates that 93,000 among them were pregnant at the time of the earthquake, with 10,000 delivering each month requiring emergency obstetric care and 1,000 to 1,500 at risk of pregnancy related complications necessitating Cesarean Sections.

In addition, in the aftermath of the earthquake, pre-existing vulnerabilities affecting women and adolescent girls were exacerbated exposing them to an increased likelihood of gender-based violence (GBV). Without adequate prevention, response and data collection mechanisms in place, GBV would increase and also go underreported.

Based on estimated numbers of affected people and using calculations from the Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP), around 28,000 women potentially required post-rape treatment.

According to the Ministry of Health and Population, nearly 84% (375 out of 446) of the completely damaged health facilities were from 14 of the most af fected districts. Hospitals were understaffed and overwhelmed. Access to reproductive health services were thus interrupted, putting the health and lives of pregnant women and their unborn babies as well as newborns at risk, says UNFPA.