Photo: David Wardell/Save the Children
Karina, a 26 year old mother, receives her first antenatal care check up in December since Typhoon Haiyan struck Cabacungan, Philippines. Karina and her family lost their home and all their possessions in the storm, but was able to listen to her baby’s heartbeat for the very first time. "Knowing that my baby is fine makes me so happy", she said.
Whether increasing in frequency or just because of the 24-hour news cycle, it seems as if there are more instances where emergency medical humanitarian aid is being needed. Regardless of the facts, caring for the most vulnerable during a crisis is paramount to saving lives and restoring hope.
In the Philippines, 18 percent of the all the under-five deaths occur on the day a baby is born and newborn deaths (deaths within the first 28 days of life) account for 50 percent of all under-five deaths. This situation in the country was only exacerbated by the storm and made conditions for pregnant women and newborn babies much more difficult in the affected area.
Humanitarian organizations are now by and large more able to provide quality emergency health care in crisis situations and post-emergency settings when local and federal government organizations are stretched too thin. As was noted in an earlier blog by Save the Children’s Kate Kerber, partners are designing a framework for a newborn health field manual that works in concert with the existing Inter-agency Field Manual on Reproductive Health in Humanitarian Settings and The Sphere Handbook.