Key steps for maternal and newborn health care in Humanitarian Crisis

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This document has been prepared for maternal and newborn health experts as well as reproductive health experts coordinating and assisting with emergency care during the humanitarian crisis. It describes the ways to estimate the number of pregnant women and those who are about to deliver, highlights some important aspects of emergency care related to pregnancy, childbirth and newborn care, and describes the content of UN kits for such care in three different scenarios. In the current crisis, we need to ensure that people have access to shelter, nutrition, water, sanitation and essential health care including treatment of injuries. At the same time, special attention must be paid to pregnant women and newborn babies, who are most vulnerable and often the first victims of any crisis. An appropriate environment for the mother and newborn after childbirth (for “home” care) is essential. We need to ensure that all pregnant women go through their pregnancy and can give birth as safely as possible. This requires that i) essential supplies (in the form of emergency kits) reach expectant mothers as quickly as possible, ii) skilled professionals with essential equipment be available and iii) an evacuation plan be created for women and newborn infants with pregnancy and health complications.

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