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Protecting Women During the Pandemic

While the COVID-19 crisis affects everyone, those who were already marginalized – women, ethnic minorities, and the poor – are likely to suffer the most. That is why no pandemic-response strategy is complete without a plan to ensure uninterrupted access to health care for all.

BANGKOK – Last month, Sheuly rushed into a Dhaka hospital in need of emergency treatment. The 25-year-old Bangladeshi woman had just given birth at home – thinking it a safer setting than the hospital during a pandemic. But as she began to suffer from post-partum hemorrhage – one of the leading causes of maternal death worldwide – avoiding exposure to COVID-19 was the furthest thing from her mind. The same was true of Majufa Akter, the midwife who sprang into action and saved Sheuly’s life, despite not having yet received adequate personal protective equipment (PPE).