News

Dignity kits meet hygiene needs of displaced women and girls in Luapula

7 October 2017
Mulobe Kisimba (R) who is among the over 3,000 registered refugees at Kenani transit centre in Nchelenge, Luapula Province, smiles after receiving a dignity kit from UNFPA

During crisis situations, women and girls of reproductive age remain among the most severely affected population groups – with a heightened need for special hygiene and reproductive health services.

“Since we fled our home country, we have faced a lot of challenges as girls. Maintaining proper hygiene has been a big problem. We have not changed clothes for many weeks and we cannot afford to buy basic sanitary towels or even soap to maintain our hygiene” says 14 year Mukunde.

Mukunde is among the estimated 3,000 registered refugees at Kenani transit centre in Nchelenge, Luapula Province, who have fled into Zambia from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

To meet the hygiene and reproductive health needs of displaced women and girls at the transit center, UNFPA Zambia - in collaboration with the Provincial Health Office in Luapula – provided 1,000 dignity kits and 50 mama packs to benefit pregnant women, as well as women and girls of reproductive age at the transit centre.

Speaking when handing over the dignity kits and mama packs to the District Health Office in Nchelenge District, UNFPA Representative Dr. Mary Otieno reaffirmed UNFPA’s commitment to support the Government of the Republic of Zambia in meeting the sexual and reproductive health needs of women and girls, including in humanitarian situations.

 "This donation is part of UNFPA’s contribution to the national response to the humanitarian situation in the Province; aimed at meeting the special reproductive health needs of women and girls during this time of crisis” Dr. Otieno said.

And speaking when receiving the donation, District Health Director Dr. Misheck Kabamba noted the timely support received from UNFPA.

‘’Women and girls have been facing significant challenges during this time. In this regard, I am pleased to receive this donation on behalf of the Government, which will help restore the dignity of pregnant women and girls within the transit center” Dr Kabamba said.

After I delivered at the hospital in Mpwete district, the doctors advised me to flee into a country which is peaceful to avoid being killed together with my babies. I was so frightened, especially after seeing a pregnant woman being killed by rebels. Without carrying anything for myself or my babies, I fled into Zambia. My babies were always cold and I feared they would get sick as I had no blankets for them to use. I am therefore grateful to receive this mama pack - 35 year olf Kazi, new mother of triplets.

And speaking after receiving a mama pack, 35 year old Kazi Kaimba, a new mother of triplets, expressed appreciation to UNFPA and the Government of Zambia for meeting both her and her infants’ needs.

“After I delivered at the hospital in Mpwete district, the doctors advised me to flee into a country which is peaceful to avoid being killed together with my babies. I was so frightened, especially after seeing a pregnant woman being killed by rebels. Without carrying anything for myself or my babies, I fled into Zambia. My babies were always cold and I feared they would get sick as I had no blankets for them to use. I am therefore grateful to receive this mama pack” Kazi narrated.

Kazi (R) smiles after recieveing a mama pack handed over by UNFPA Provincial Coordinator for Luapula Province, Elizabeth Kalunga (L)