Some 335 pregnant and breastfeeding mothers who were affected by Tropical storm Sendong received Thursday, hygiene kits from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo led the distribution of the kits held at the Dumaguete City Session Hall today together with UNFPA Program Officer Dyezebel Dado and Dumaguete City Vice Mayor Alan Gel Cordova.

The governor earlier requested the UNFPA for relief assistance after Tropical storm Sendong, which struck the province on Dec. 17, 2011, left thousands of families displaced after their houses were either swept away or damaged by the raging floods.

Each hygiene kit, which comes in the form of a bucket, contains underwear, toiletries, batteries, and a malong which can be used either as a blanket or a bag, said Dado.

The kits distributed in Dumaguete City form part of the total 1,585 kits that are distributed to identified mothers in Negros Oriental.

“We will also be distributing these kits in Sibulan, Valencia and Tanjay City,” said Dado.

UNFPA provided the kits to address the urgent needs of pregnant and breastfeeding women especially in evacuation centers.

“During disasters, the focus of relief operations is on providing food for the affected families as it is their immediate need. But these women have other urgent needs, especially the pregnant mothers, who may suffer from health complications if these needs are not met,” said Arlene Alano, UNFPA information and communications officer, in an interview with Philippine Information Agency.

“We are giving them these kits to prevent disease and infections among the pregnant and breastfeeding women who are living in unsanitary environments,” she added.

UNFPA identified the mothers who will receive the kits based on records provided by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the health offices in said local government units

“These are pregnant or lactating women whose houses were damaged by Typhoon Sendong,” explained Dado. (RMN/PIA Negros Oriental)