Maternal health services in Syria

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has announced that more than 30,000 vouchers for free maternal healthcare and emergency obstetric services have been delivered to women in Syria.

Allowing voucher recipients to attend clinics at the Syria Family Planning Association and Obstetric University Hospital, the scheme facilitates potentially live-saving treatments such as Caesarean sections free of charge.

The vouchers are distributed directly by volunteers in crisis-affected areas, including Damascus and Raqa, and by the UNFPA office.

UNFPA estimates that around 625,000 of the 2.5 million Syrians directly affected by the civil war are women of reproductive age. Furthermore, it believes around 250,000 Syrian women - both in the conflict-torn country and in refugee settings - will become pregnant by the end of 2013.

"Access to antenatal care and safe delivery services, including emergency obstetrics, is now extremely limited in the country," the organisation notes.