UNFPA / ZAMBIA DROUGHT RESPONSE

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Zambia is on the frontlines of the climate emergency, experiencing frequent droughts, floods and heat waves. The country is currently in the grips of the driest agricultural season in more than 40 years. Crops have been wiped out, livestock have died, and poverty and food insecurity are deepening. Around 9.8 million people in 84 of Zambia’s 166 districts are affected – and 6.6 million people in the country need immediate humanitarian assistance. UNFPA
Description

STORY: UNFPA / ZAMBIA DROUGHT RESPONSE
TRT: 04:57
SOURCE: UNFPA
RESTRICTIONS: CREDIT UNFPA ON TOP LEFT OR RIGHT OF THE SCREEN
LANGUAGES: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 10 JUNE 2024, HAKUNKULA RURAL HEALTH CENTRE, SOUTHERN PROVINCE, ZAMBIA

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Shotlist

1. Wide, Hakunkula Rural Health Centre exterior
2. Wide, Hakunkula Rural Health Centre exterior
3. Med, posters about drought responses
4. Wide, women carrying their kids, walking
5. Closeup, a woman walking
6. SOUNDBITE(English) Leonard Zulu, Program Analyst, UNFPA Zambia:
“Today we are at Hakunkula village in Monze, Southern Province. So this particular village is about 30 km from the nearest health center. So we are conducting a health outreach activity today, supported by UNFPA, towards the drought response that is currently ongoing across the country.”
7. Wide, a group of people from the village
8. Wide, health outreach session
9. Med, field coordinator raising awareness on ending child marriages and gender based violence
10. Med, group of people listening
11. Med, group of people listening
12. Closeup, a baby
13. SOUNDBITE(English) Leonard Zulu, Program Analyst, UNFPA Zambia: “In times of a crisis and in times of a drought like this, the health of women and girls, especially sexual and reproductive health, is not prioritized.”
14. SOUNDBITE(English) Leonard Zulu, Program Analyst, UNFPA Zambia:
“Women may not prioritize going to the health facility in times of the crisis, the drought like this, but instead, [they] would prioritize looking for food. So this has the possibility of impacting their health. So UNFPA is supporting the Ministry of Health to conduct the mobile clinics, the health outreach activities, so that they can provide these services to women and girls, especially in this situation.”
15. SOUNDBITE(English) Loveness Miyoba, Nurse:
“Today, we are providing ART (Antiretroviral therapy for people with HIV). We are providing antenatal services. We are also providing children's clinic services, also family planning and a bit of OPD (outpatient services).”
16. Med, a woman breastfeeding a child
17. Med, Nurse Loveness Miyoba working on a case
18. Med, medical record
19. Med, Nurse Loveness Miyoba walks in the village
20. Med, women in the village
21. Med, women and nurses
22. Closeup, women from the village
23. Closeup, antenatal card
24. Closeup, Nurse Loveness Miyoba
25. Closeup, a young girl
26. SOUNDBITE(English) Suvannah Sinakaaba, Nurse:
“They don’t have food. As a result, teenagers, they end up in a…they become vulnerable. So they engage themselves in sexual activities. So when we talk about HIV, even HIV rates, it's quite high in adolescents because they engage themselves to these fishermen because they want help. They are vulnerable.”
27. Closeup, HIV testing kit
28. Closeup, HIV testing kit
29. Wide, a nurse working with a young woman
30. Wide, a nurse asking a young woman to step on a weight scale
31. Closeup, a woman standing on a weight scale
32. Med, a nurse measuring blood pressure of a young woman
33. Closeup, a young woman
34. SOUNDBITE(English) Leonard Zulu, Program Analyst, UNFPA Zambia:
“Monze has about 43 health facilities. So in all those health facilities, currently, UNFPA is providing support for mobile clinics such as this, to be undertaken at least once every month for the coming three months. So this is where the situation comes in, where we need more support, we need more resources to be able to ensure that there's continuity of these mobile clinics across the next coming months. So we really need to ensure that we provide this necessary support. And as you can see from the outcome of the events here, there's really a need for these services.”

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Storyline

Zambia is on the frontlines of the climate emergency, experiencing frequent droughts, floods and heat waves. The country is currently in the grips of the driest agricultural season in more than 40 years. Crops have been wiped out, livestock have died, and poverty and food insecurity are deepening. Around 9.8 million people in 84 of Zambia’s 166 districts are affected – and 6.6 million people in the country need immediate humanitarian assistance.

The climate emergency is not gender neutral, and the most vulnerable women and girls who have contributed the least to the crisis are the most impacted – Zambia is no exception.

In the drought-affected provinces of Southern, Western and Lusaka, acute malnutrition is high among pregnant and breastfeeding women, and is expected to worsen as the lean season begins next month. When food is scarce, women often eat last and least, sacrificing their own needs to feed their children. This situation poses an incredible risk to the health of mothers and their children in a country that already has one of the highest rates of malnutrition and stunting in sub-Saharan Africa.

Risks of gender-based violence, sexual exploitation and abuse have all increased. A health care provider from a mobile clinic that recently visited Hakukunla village, Southern province, spoke of the vulnerability of adolescent girls - some of whom have been exchanging sex for food with local fishermen, increasing risks of HIV and unintended pregnancy. Longer distances to collect water also exacerbate protection risks.

Families are also resorting to desperate measures as they struggle to put food on the table – girls are reported to be dropping out of school and being forcibly married. Zambia has some of the world’s highest rates of child marriage with close to a third of Zambia’s girls married off before the age of 18.

In drought-affected provinces, UNFPA is working with communities and first responders to support reproductive health and gender-based violence prevention and response services. UNFPA also runs monthly mobile clinics in Southern province. Services include medical treatment for people living with HIV and identifying and treating pregnant women who are malnourished. Some of these communities live hours from the nearest health facility - in Hakukunla village, the nearest clinic is at least 30 km away. Taking services to communities is critical amid concerns that women and girls are prioritizing the search for food and water instead of their health.

UNFPA is also supporting 60 Safe Motherhood Action Group volunteers to provide information on safe motherhood to families as well as two national toll-free lines that provide information on maternal health and gender-based violence services. More than 50,000 calls were made to the toll-free lines between January and May 2024 – more than a quarter were related to gender-based violence.

UNFPA is appealing for $5.4 million to support this work. Immediate, flexible funding is urgently needed to meet the needs of the most vulnerable women and girls.

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26703
Production Date
Creator
UNFPA
Alternate Title
unifeed240620f
Subject Topical
Geographic Subject
MAMS Id
3222898
Parent Id
3222898