NEW YORK (March 9, 2010) – The United Nations is setting up mobile health clinics and distributing hygiene packs and maternity kits to women and children returning home to former conflict zones in northern Sri Lanka.
“UNFPA [the UN Population Fund] is pleased to be working with our partners in restoring health services and ensuring that the unique health concerns of women and girls are not overlooked during the resettlement process,” said UNFPA Representative Lene Christiansen after visiting several resettlement areas recently.
Of the 2,500 pregnant women who moved out of displaced camps this year, some 150 are expected to give birth in the next month, UNFPA said today.
Government forces defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) last year after more than two decades of fighting. But the conflict left hundreds of thousands of civilians displaced.
Given that most health facilities were damaged during the conflict or are difficult to access by the limited public transport, UNFPA and the Sri Lankan officials have begun to operate mobile reproductive health clinics in resettled areas.
The mobile clinics – run in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, provincial health officials and the Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka – offer prenatal and postnatal care, voluntary family planning, services for prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and psychosocial counseling.
In addition, UNFPA provided a range of reproductive health equipment and supplies to the Mallavi Base Hospital and Kilinochchi General Hospital.