Of the nearly 20 million people affected by the floods in Pakistan, some 85 per cent are women and children, and around 500,000 are pregnant women, says the international relief agency CARE .
During assessment visits to flood-affected regions in Pakistan, the NGO's staff have observed that many pregnant women are still living without proper shelter, supplies and food.
Flood waters have damaged or destroyed more than 200 hospitals and clinics, and in some areas, female doctors and other staff are not available to provide health services to pregnant women.
With limited or no access to health facilities, women are at a greater risk of complications and death related to pregnancy and childbirth.
There is an urgent need for clean drinking water and additional nutritious food for mothers who are breastfeeding, says CARE. To help meet the specific needs of pregnant women, new mothers and children, agencies are distributing water purification tablets to provide clean water, particularly for pregnant women and children who are particularly susceptible to water-borne illness such as diarrhoea.
Mobile health teams are providing primary health care and antenatal care to pregnant women in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, South Punjab and Sind. Pregnant women are also being vaccinated against tetanus.