Egypt is the latest country to face a new wave of contraception shortages after the health ministry declared a national emergency over the new Zika virus.
More than 100 pharmacies and other health facilities have been closed in the country’s Nile Delta region.
It’s one of the countrys poorest regions, home to one of Egypt’s most densely populated cities, Suez, and the world’s largest lake.
More:A doctor in Egypt told Al Jazeera that it’s rare for a pharmacy to open for 24 hours due to the shortage of emergency contraception.
Dr. Ahmed Zaki, a consultant physician and specialist in emergency medicine, told Al Jazeeras that in Suez there is a shortage of condoms and other contraceptives, but he said there is no need to be concerned for a 24-hour period because of the national emergency.
“A pharmacy is one of our first lines of defense against the effects of the virus,” Zaki said.
He added that while he could only open a pharmacy if it was open 24 hours a day, other pharmacies can open during the emergency.
He said it’s the pharmacies’ responsibility to distribute emergency contraception and that they will do so.
“The pharmacy should not take any risk if it is not available,” Zak said.
“We must give priority to emergency contraception for the patients and the people,” he said.
On Tuesday, Egypt’s health ministry announced the nationwide emergency that began on Monday, calling on citizens to take all available measures to reduce the virus’ spread.