Earthquake Relief DONATE NOW
On April 25, 2015, Nepal suffered a massive earthquake followed by days of aftershocks. A major aftershock, on May 12, brought the death toll to over 8,000, with over 16,000 people injured. Over 490,000 homes were destroyed or dangerously cracked, and families are now forced to sleep in tents or out in the open. Communities are bracing for the monsoon season, which begins in June, and public health officials predict disease outbreaks linked to exposure to the elements, and the lack of functioning sanitation systems and health facilities. Among Nepal’s 75 districts, 14 were severely affected by the earthquakes, with Kathmandu, Gorkha, Sindhupalchok and Dolakha suffering the most damage.
HealthRight is partnering with a Kathmandu-based clinic, Friends of Shanta Bhawan (FSB), to assist in the relief effort. FSB has operated a medical center in a low-income urban area of Kathmandu valley since 1984, providing free or low cost care for people who would otherwise be unable to access medical services. FSB is now caring for earthquake survivors at the clinic, as well as via outreach clinics in affected villages that have not yet been reached by response teams. HealthRight is helping FSB by donating urgently needed supplies. Should you choose to donate to these efforts, your gift will go directly to earthquake survivors who are patients of the FSB clinic in the form of medical supplies, temporary shelter, blankets, sleeping pads, food, and other humanitarian aid.
Health System Strengthening
Since 2009, HealthRight has worked to strengthen the maternal and infant health care system in Nepal. Neonatal mortality in Nepal is 33 per 1,000 live births, accounting for 61% of under-five deaths and 72% of all infant deaths. While maternal mortality has declined in recent years, it remains unacceptably high, with 229 to 281 deaths per 100,000 live births. Further reduction of these rates presents significant health systems challenges. Safe delivery, newborn care, and postnatal care can reduce morbidity and mortality. Nepal is aiming to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5; however, only 36% of babies are delivered by a skilled provider, and less than half of women receive postnatal care within the first two days following delivery.
In 2009 to 2013, HealthRight Nepal adapted and piloted maternal and neonatal near miss reviews in selected areas of Nepal’s Arghakhanchi district, as part of a multi-faceted effort to document and strengthen maternal and neonatal care (MNC) throughout the health system. Maternal health practitioners, including Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHVs), Health Facility Operation and Management Committees (HFOMCs), and other health workers were trained to participate in near miss reviews.
In 2014, HealthRight Nepal received funding from the World Health Organization to undertake an implementation research project to scale up work on maternal and neonatal near miss reviews (MNNR) in Arghakhanchi through 2016. The overall goal of this study is to understand how district-wide maternal and neonatal near miss reviews can be implemented and scaled-up through the existing health system in Nepal.
In December 2014 and January 2015, HealthRight facilitated two MNNR trainings in Arghakhanchi for a total of 122 health workers, including medical officers, staff nurses, auxiliary nurse midwives, health assistants and district supervisors, from 15 health facilities and the District Health Office. Following these trainings, the health facility teams began collecting near miss review data, which will be ready for preliminary analysis in June 2015.