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Supporting pregnant and lactating women in typhoon-hit Catanduanes

Catanduanes, The Philippines -- "We felt the strength of the typhoon, around 2 AM. We heard the howling of the wind; its strength was uprooting trees and unroofing houses,” said Jessa, as she recalled that day when the typhoon made landfall.

According to her, they evacuated hours before Super Typhoon Rolly (international name Goni) hit her hometown in Baras, Catanduanes.  It affected over 2 million people and caused  Php12.8 billion worth of structures and Php 5 billion worth of crops.

Jessa shook her head, "Some areas here were also flooded. In my house, the flood was almost five feet."   

Like most families after a typhoon, Jessa and her husband, Wilmer, a security guard in a mall at the town center, have nothing much left.  "He went back to work recently. He couldn’t report for work for several days,” said Jessa.

"I'm happy that mothers like me were prioritized.”

A few weeks after the typhoon, Jessa gave birth to her baby boy, Steven. She received a maternity kit from UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund in the Philippines, through its partner, World Vision, and the Australian Government’s support.  A maternity kit contains essential hygiene and health products such as disposable sanitary pads, newborn clothes, reusable cloth diapers with nappy clamps, a receiving blanket, alcohol, and soap. These items are for the basic needs of a mother and her newborn. Still, these are particularly challenging to access in emergency settings due to economic reasons, service and supply disruptions, and movement restrictions.

“Most families here have nothing now. We appreciate any kind of assistance given to us. What you gave is a big help for my baby and me, because most of our stuff, including those for my pregnancy and my baby, were washed away," Jessa shares. 

 

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Story originated from World Vision Philippines. Edited by UNFPA Philippines Communications Office.