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Self-care kits for the empowerment of adolescents and women

In contexts of humanitarian crises, the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, has a crucial role in implementing, quickly and effectively, measures to safeguard the lives of affected people, focusing its attention on the most vulnerable groups, mainly girls, adolescents and women.

UNFPA's Global Response Plan to COVID-19 focuses on 3 strategic priorities:

1. The continuity of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services and interventions, including the protection of health personnel.

2. Addressing gender-based violence.

3. Ensuring the supply of modern contraceptives and reproductive health supplies.

Transfer of kits from the UNFPA Peru Office

One of the lines of action proposed to contribute to the continuity of SRH services is the delivery of different types of kits: the SRH Kits, aimed at health facilities, with medicines and medical instruments to directly support sexual and reproductive health care, and the Hygiene Kits, also called Dignity Kits, with self-care and personal hygiene supplies for adolescents and women who have been affected by the health crisis and find themselves in conditions of difficult access to water or other fundamental resources.

Each Hygiene Kit contains soap, shampoo, sanitary towels, cotton underwear, toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, alcohol gel, deodorant stick and toilet paper all inside a reusable fabric bag. It also contains basic information on sexual and reproductive health care and gender-based violence services.

The content of this kit has a direct impact on the dignity and empowerment of adolescent girls and women, because it promotes their opportunity to participate in economic and community activities, family functioning, autonomy and mobility, and consequently their access to resources and services.

In the year 2020, in close coordination with the Ministry of Health, 3,000 hygiene kits will be distributed in Tumbes, Piura, Chiclayo and San Juan de Lurigancho. These kits will be given to migrant adolescents and women, refugees and host communities, users of sexual and reproductive health services who are in greatest need. 

First delivery: San Juan de Lurigancho

Postpartum woman in San Juan de Lurigancho Hospital (HSJL)

San Juan de Lurigancho, with more than one million inhabitants, is one of the most populated districts in Latin America and one of the localities that most felt the advance of the COVID-19 among its inhabitants. In the last six months, the district hospital has had countless difficulties, as well as the entire health system, in responding to citizen demands for all kinds of services during the pandemic, including sexual and reproductive health services.

It is in this emergency context that the United Nations Population Fund in Peru took steps to join the humanitarian response strategy, with an emphasis on women in a vulnerable situation. Supporting with the delivery of 495 dignity kits, distributed among the main hospital and other health centers in the jurisdiction, marks the direction in which UNFPA has aimed during the entire COVID-19 health emergency: to help ensure that no one is left behind.

In this delivery, made on November 5, the Assistant Representative of the United Nations Population Fund in Peru, María Eugenia Mujica, went to the San Juan de Lurigancho Hospital (HSJL) to accompany the transfer of supplies that took place with the presence of the Director of the Pablo Samuel Córdova Ticse Hospital and representatives of the Directorate of Integrated Health Networks – DIRIS Lima Center, an institution attached to the Ministry of Health.