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Tirana, April 28, 2020 - United Nations Agency for Sexual and Reproductive Health, UNFPA in Albania, through the Representative of the Office, Dr. Manuela Bello handed over today, in the presence of Deputy Minister of Health and Social Protection, Mrs. Mira Rakacolli and the Management of the Maternity Hospital"Koço Gliozheni" in Tirana, a quantity of personal protective equipment against Covid19.

"Today we are handing over the first party of the personal protective equipment supplies procured by UNFPA to address the emergency situation. These items are intended to protect health personnel serving pregnant women and newborns in two maternity hospitals in Tirana: the University Gynecology-Obstetric Hospital "Koço Gliozheni", where we are today and the University Gynecological-Obstetric University "Mbreteresha Geraldine", said Dr. Bello. "We wanted these items to go to the two maternity hospitals in Tirana, as the city most affected by Covid19 and which manages the largest number of births in the country."

Items include tyvek suit coverall protection CatIII type 6 h, L; respiratory protection FFP3 / FFP2, gloves, eye protection (googles), covering head, neck and shoulders.

These articles will serve to protect 26 obstetricians and gynecologists, 18 neonatologists, 120 midwives and 70 neonatology nurses in these two maternity hospitals for a one-month emergency period.

We would like to inform you that UNFPA is completing the procurement process of a larger quantity of these protective items and other important supplies in support of the health staff of the Albanian maternity hospitals, which will cover the mid-term needs in the fight against Covid-19, in collaboration with one of its key partners in addressing the needs of maternal and infant health services, LDS Charities.

It is very important and vital for UNFPA to ensure uninterrupted supply of emergency reproductive health items, modern contraception, personal protective equipment for health care personnel and other supplies necessary for the maternal and child health protection against COVID-19.

To date, there is no scientific evidence about the increased susceptibility of pregnant women to COVID-19. There is also no evidence to support vertical mother-to-child transmission of COVID-19.

Pregnant women should take the same preventive actions to avoid infection recommended for all adults.

It is important to emphasize that UNFPA will never stop advocating and insisting on  We must maintain continuity of maternal health and other sexual and reproductive health services, including antenatal and postnatal care and access to safe birth, especially in epicenters of the pandemic where access to services may be impacted and the focus of services diverted.

It is equally vital that healthcare workers be protected from contracting COVID-19 and equipped with personal protective equipment to ensure the continuity of health care services and to treat infected patients.