In August 2017, weeks of continued and heavy rainfall across Nepal resulted in flash floods and landslides that affected 36 of the 75 districts. Many people lost their homes or were displaced. It was estimated that of those affected, 112,500 were women of reproductive age, including 8,694 pregnant women.
IPPF Humanitarian, through their Member Association, The Family Planning Association of Nepal (FPAN), activated its emergency response system early on. With funding support from the Australian Government, FPAN and IPPF Humanitarian initially mobilised their response in four of the worst affected districts (Sunsari, Saptari, Bardiya, and Dang).
Mobile medical camps were established to meet the sexual and reproductive health needs of the affected population, including through the distribution of short and long acting methods of contraception, STI and HIV screening, and GBV referrals. In collaboration with the USAID-SIFPO project, services were then expanded into five more affected districts.
IPPF Humanitarian spoke with 21-year old Muna in her home district of Sunsari in Nepal.
“I got married at 16 years old and have two children, a four-year-old girl and two-year-old boy.
In my caste, we get married early, so my parents took me to get an arranged marriage. I was in the 8th class at the time, and returned to school after I got married, but only lasted one year.
My husband works in construction and had to stop working for two weeks when the floods came. When he doesn’t work, he doesn’t get paid, so it’s been very difficult.
A FPAN social worker told me about the mobile medical camp today. I used to be on the three-month injectable but today I changed to the five-year implant in my arm.
When my youngest child was eight months old I found out I was pregnant again. I decided to discontinue that pregnancy, so I took the five small tablets given to me by my neighbourhood doctor. I was two months pregnant at the time.
From this, I had two days bleeding and cramp like pain, and then weakness. I decided to abort that pregnancy because my youngest will still only eight months old, and I didn’t want any more children.
If I had more than two children, it would be very difficult to feed and educate them, and would badly affect my body too. I’m so happy I now don’t have to worry about contraception for another five years.”