Press Release

New UNFPA projections predict calamitous impact on women’s health as COVID-19 pandemic continues

4 May 2020

New York, USA/ Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, 4 May 2020 - As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, number of women unable to access family planning, facing unintended pregnancies, gender-based violence and other harmful practices could skyrocket by millions of cases in the months ahead, according to data released by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.

The research reveals the enormous scale of the impact COVID-19 is having on women as health systems become overloaded, facilities close or only provide a limited set of services to women and girls, and many choose to skip important medical checkups through fear of contracting the virus. Global supply chain disruptions may also lead to significant shortages of contraceptives and gender-based violence is expected to soar as women are trapped at home for prolonged periods.

“This new data shows the catastrophic impact that COVID-19 could soon have on women and girls globally. The pandemic is deepening inequalities, and millions more women and girls now risk losing the ability to plan their families and protect their bodies and their health,” said Dr. Natalia Kanem, UNFPA Executive Director. “Women’s reproductive health and rights must be safeguarded at all costs. The services must continue; the supplies must be delivered; and the vulnerable must be protected and supported."

Turkmenistan has no reported cases of the coronavirus. Nonetheless, amid the global pandemic, UNFPA supports the Government within the framework of the Joint UN and Government Working Group on Socio-Economic Impact of COVID-19 and the developed Country Preparedness and Response Plan. 

UNFPA provides a technical assistance to the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry in updating the policy regulations on COVID-19 preparedness, including sanitation, personal protection, COVID-19 case management among women, specifically on principles of safe care during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.

UNFPA also supports the health sector in procurement of the medical and sanitation supplies, as well as ensuring that the 94 reproductive health rooms countrywide do not experience a stock-out of the contraceptives. In March, UNFPA procured 8,000 vials of injectable contraceptives Sayana Press to meet the needs of the women of reproductive age and who receive services at the reproductive health rooms of the country. website, operated by UNFPA Turkmenistan has been a reliable source of information for young people and their parents in Turkmen language. The site features a rubric on COVID-19 and offers World Health Organization’s recommendations on promoting healthy behavior at schools, home and community, sharing the correct information to promote prevention, as well as staying safe and positive.

“UNFPA commends the Government for sustaining family planning and reproductive health services in the country,” said Ayna Seyitliyeva, UNFPA Turkmenistan Assistant Representative.  “We continue to support the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry to ensure continuity of and access to the maternal and reproductive health in the country not to compromise the realization of the commitments made at Global Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 during the global pandemic.”

The global research on COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on women’s health was conducted by UNFPA, with contributions from Avenir Health, Johns Hopkins University (USA) and Victoria University (Australia). Its projections were based upon recent UNFPA research into what will be required to achieve the organization’s goals by 2030. For each estimate, researchers projected the direct impact of COVID-19 on the issue in question and combined it with the disruption to global prevention programmes caused by the pandemic.




For more information, please contact:

Ene Tuyliyeva, Youth and Communications

National Programme Associate

+99312 488325

imo: +99362 833158