Incessant rains across Sri Lanka during May 2017 affected over half a million people in seven districts. Most affected was the Ratnapura district where over 20,000 people faced flash floods, and where 46 deaths were reported. IPPF Humanitarian, in partnership with FPA Sri Lanka, responded to this catastrophe through the distribution of over 700 dignity kits in Ratnapura
Dr. Rohan Jayasuriya and midwife Chaturika Lakmale were on the ground during and after the floods providing family planning services and contraception to women affected by the disaster.
“When the floods came our clinic was located on higher ground, so it wasn’t damaged. The floods finished on the 31 May 2017, and we reopened one day later on the 1 June 2017. After the floods, we arranged several special clinics just for family planning, and distributed condoms and emergency supplies of the pill to camps in case women missed their regular form of contraception like injectables, implants or IUDs. In Sri Lanka, approximately 67% of couples use family planning, 26% of which prefer IUDs”
We offered condoms and emergency supply of the pill. We told women to keep one packet of the pill in their handbag, and one in their home, should they ever have to run quickly in an emergency. One pregnant woman was delivering at this time, so she had to go on a boat to dry land, and then onwards in a vehicle to the hospital. Once we reopened the clinic, two of our own midwives were unable to attend work as the floods had affected them, but I was here. It was so busy.”
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