New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: According to a latest study by the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), a sexual and reproductive health agency, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic will lead to a devastating impact on women's health worldwide if its lasts for another six months, said a report published in PTI.

The report claimed that ongoing lockdowns and disruptions in health services could leave 47 million women in middle and middle-income nations unable to use contraceptives, leading to seven million unintended pregnancies in the coming months.

According to the UNFPA, closed facilities, overtaxed health systems and disrupted supply chains will curtail access to reproductive care for women and girls, particularly in low-income countries.

The agency estimates that the number of women facing unintended pregnancies could skyrocket by millions due to the crisis.

UNFPA Executive Director Natalia Kanem said, "This new data shows the catastrophic impact that COVID-19 could soon have on women and girls globally, " as quoted by PTI.

"The pandemic is deepening inequalities, and millions more women and girls now risk losing the ability to plan their families and protect their bodies and their health," he added.

The study further suggested that for every three months of lockdown, an additional 15 million cases of gender-based violence is expected.

The economic and physical disruptions caused by the COVID-19 could have vast consequences for the rights and health of women and girls, noted the analysis by UNFPA and partners.

The UNFPA is working with governments to prioritise the needs of women and girls of reproductive age during the pandemic. It is focused on strengthening health systems, delivering essential supplies to protect health workers, ensuring access to sexual and reproductive health, preventing gender-based violence.

"Women’s reproductive health and rights must be safeguarded at all costs. The services must continue; the supplies must be delivered; and the vulnerable must be protected and supported," Kanem told PTI.


(with PTI inputs)

Posted By: James Kuanal