21-year-old Pramila was pregnant with her second child and was anxious and worried. Her first delivery three years prior was a fearful experience because she didn’t have the medical support she felt she needed.
Pramila is a resident of Bharta, a remote village in Nepal where the health system is weak. The small health post there struggles daily. One of its biggest problems is a lack of trained health workers, and there is not a single birthing center nearby.
After the earthquake in Nepal, Project HOPE initiated “Improving Access to MNCH (Maternal, Newborn and Child Health) and Hygiene Behavior in Nepal” in four villages, including Bharta. This program works to ensure safe deliveries by having a skilled birth attendant available.
During the routine activity of home visits, Melina Syangtang, Project HOPE’s social mobilizer, met Pramila, who was then in her third trimester of pregnancy. Pramila had been told about the new availability of a birth attendant and the important role this person would have during her delivery. She was also given health tips for birth preparedness, nutrition and post-partum care, as well as information about child care such as immunizations and exclusive breastfeeding.
With this help, Pramila had a successful and safe delivery of her second baby this past September. “I felt so special,” says Pramila. “I got all the services which I never had before. I felt that my child was in safe hands.”
Syangtang still remembers the sparkle and joy in Pramila’s eyes when her child was delivered safely – an experience that motivates her to continue working for this community.
The entire community is grateful to have a new staff member in the health post who performs ante-natal care checkups with pregnant women.
“It’s a great relief!” says Narendra Dhanuk, director of the health post. “I used to feel helpless because I could not help female patients, especially pregnant women. We have a serious need for female health staff. Thanks to Project HOPE, we now have a skilled birth attendant. There has been a significant increase in ante-natal care visits and institutional deliveries as a result of Project HOPE team’s regular home visits.”
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