One Heart World-Wide

"Mission: Saving the lives of women and newborns one birth at a time". One Heart World-Wide programs improve the health and well-being of pregnant women and infants that would not otherwise have access to maternal and child-health services due to sociocultural barriers, limited personal resources, or remote living conditions. Essential to our programs are the integration of local resources, collaboration with local communities and providers, with respect for cultural norms and practices. In each of our program sites, we are committed to working within the local culture, respecting and honoring it while helping women access a safe delivery
Jan 16, 2014

Happy New Year!

Phoksundo BC Reserve Water Tank
Phoksundo BC Reserve Water Tank

As we embark on a new year, we would like to take a moment to reflect on everything that we accomplished together in the last 12 months. 2013 was a great year and we are looking forward to even bigger things in 2014 as we begin working in another district. 

In Dolpa:  

As you may know from our last update, this year we were in the process of upgrading two birthing centers in the Dolpa district when we came up against weather challenges that significantly delayed our progress. In the last few months of the year, our field teams did their best to make up for lost time. We are happy to announce that construction and building upgrades at the Phoksundo Birthing Center have been completed and at the Saldang site, only the water tank remains. We have also begun working on a third health post, so that it too may be upgraded to a Certified Birthing Center. We have also formed a new partnership that should help ease future transport of materials and equipment. We are currently working together to have all necessary medical equipment and remaining birthing center furnishings taken up to the Dolpa birthing centers as soon as the weather improves a bit more - most likely in March or April. In the meantime, we have also been able to sponsor three nurses to become Skilled Birth Attendants (SBAs). The SBAs now have the skills needed to manage normal deliveries each of the three birthing centers we are upgrading. Tashi will be working at the Bhijer Birthing Center, Pema will be located in Saldang and Pasang will be the resident SBA at the Phoksundo Birthing center. Each nurse completed a Skilled Birth Attendant training so that she may act as a resource for the pregnant women in her community throughout pregnancy and delivery, facilitate deliveries, and have a thorough understanding of possible complications and how to act when warning signs present themselves.

Over the past year, close to 100 births took place in the 2 birthing centers which we upgraded in 2011 and many more were successfully attended by our Skilled Birth Attendants at other locations in the district. Last year, our SBA at the Dho Tarap Birthing Center also began offering regular utlrasound check-ups, which will greatly help us to reduce emergency complications by referring patients to larger hospitals sooner when complications arise. With three new Birthing Centers and Skilled Birth Attendants, we are hopeful that deliveries attended by SBAs at Birthing Centers will be even higher in 2014!

In addition, this year 35 traditional healers and 45 Foot Soldiers of Change (Female Community Health Volunteers) have been trained on a variety of skills including newborn care, birth preparedness, ultrasound use, emergency obstetrics, and the use of a mobile health system to improve care delivery and reporting in our program areas. As a result, in Dolpa, the maternal mortality ratio has reportedly dropped nearly 40% and the reported neonatal mortality rate is down 64% from the baseline numbers from when we began working in Dolpa just two years ago.

We are very excited about the progress we are seeing in Dolpa, despite the challenges we face in working in such a remote area. We have all of you to thank for our successes and we are looking forward to many more positive outcomes in 2014!

Thank you!

Chunuwar Health Post
Chunuwar Health Post
Newly Certified SBAs
Newly Certified SBAs
New Skilled Birth Attendant
New Skilled Birth Attendant

Links:

Oct 23, 2013

Training Season

OHW Volunteers receive training certificates
OHW Volunteers receive training certificates

Late Summer and Fall have been marked by a series of trainings in Guachochi, Chihuahua.

In August, we held five training sessions for volunteers from the municipalities of Guachochi and Batopilas in partnership with the Servicios de Salud (SES, State Health Services) and Desarrollo Integral de la Famila (DIF, government entity for Family Development). Volunteer trainings cover a variety of topics, including the Network of Safety model, healthy pregnancies, prenatal care and its importance, newborn care, how to identify warning signs and possible complications during pregnancy, delivery, and puerperium and how to handle them, developing delivery and evacuation plans, use of volunteer equipment and materials, community outreach, and data collection.

All 250 participating Foot Soldiers of Change (volunteer outreach providers) were provided with materials and equipment to help pregnant women in their communities. Their volunteer backpacks include items such as thermometers, blood pressure cuffs and headlamps to monitor the women's progress, as well as flip charts that help volunteers to recognize warning signs and guide them through actions to take when certain situations arise.

In September, alongside the SES, we held a training for 40 doctors and nurses from Guachochi and Batopilas. The providers were trained in ultrasound use, emergency obstetrics, and intercultural sensitivity. They also participated in a workshop on vertical delivery, as this is a delivery option that is seldom used in delivery facilities, but is often preferred by Tarahumara women. Helping providers to better understand equipment designed for vertical delivery and discussing the importance of giving this delivery position as an option may encourage more Tarahumara women to have facility-based deliveries

This month, the SES will be hosting a Multiculturalism and Humanization of Obstetric Care Symposium in Chihuahua. While the Symposium has previously been taught on a national level, this will be the first of its kind within the state of Chihuahua. Providers across all levels (including One Heart Mexico volunteers) from all over the Copper Canyon have been selected to attend and act as representatives who will then go back and share with their teams in their units. 

One Heart is happy to have played a role in bringing this symposium to the state by helping to organize workshops earlier this year on intercultural sensitivity - a training package that we now include in all of our health providers trainings. Currently, the state health department is working with One Heart and other key stakeholders to promote such trainings for providers as part of their strategy to reduce maternal mortality.

Thanks for all of your support! Don't forget to take advantage of the GlobalGiving Bonus Day on October 23rd! Starting at 9:00am Eastern your donation with be match with an extra 30%!!  

Distribution of volunteer backpacks
Distribution of volunteer backpacks
Ultrasound Demonstration
Ultrasound Demonstration
Ultrasound Training
Ultrasound Training
Volunteer/Traditional Midwife Training
Volunteer/Traditional Midwife Training
Volunteer/Traditional Midwife Training
Volunteer/Traditional Midwife Training

Links:

Oct 11, 2013

Progress Despite Weather Delays

Program Director meeting with FCHV
Program Director meeting with FCHV

Despite unforseen weather challenges this year, we continue to make progress on our birthing center upgrades in Dolpa. The extreme weather has made travel to the sites of our birthing center projects even more difficult than usual. There are no roads in the entire district of Dolpa and therefore, all equipment and construction materials must be delivered by plane, helicopter, or carried to the site on the backs of yak or mule caravans. Due to rain, it has been unsafe for helicopters and planes to make landings in the area and trips by pack animals have been heavily delayed due to dangerous conditions.

However, our teams are up to the challenge! We have had better luck in Phoksundo than in Saldang, and we have finally completed construction at the Ringmo (Phoksundo) birthing center site. We expect to have the necessary medical equipment delivered and set up before the year's end. We have gotten price quotes and are in the process of purchasing delivery beds, infant warmers, dopplers, and a variety of medical devices to provide preventative, delivery and emergency obstetric care and newborn care at the newly upgraded birthing centers.

Saldang, the more remote of the two locations, has proven a bit more arduous, and as such, construction materials have just arrived. Construction should be underway shortly and we are hoping that all structural work will be completed by the end of the year as well. 

Over the past several months, we also completed monitoring and evaluation on the implementation of the Childbirth and Newborn Care Package (CBNCP) in which we train all Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHV). Our team visited 18 health facilities and spoke with more than 100 FCHV, making this the largest follow-up of its kind ever to have been done in Dolpa, where travelling on foot can be a challenge to completing such a task. This feat is encouraging for future work in the district, as it shows that comprehensive monitoring and evaluation is possible in the region with the right amount of determination and hard work! We are setting the bar high for our teams and for other NGOs working in Dolpa. In addition, we participated in a three-day district level review of the CBNCP program. All of the health workers from peripheral level health institutions were part of the review process. We had an open discussion regarding the major bottle necks to the program's success in addition to skill refreshers. Our team reports that it was very fruitful to have representatives of all the health facilities update their knowledge and skills as well as provide feedback on the progress and impact of the program.

Our team also had the opportunity to present our work in Dolpa at the Annual District Project Advisory Committee Meeting. Many high ranking officials from the government were present, who praised our vision to work in remote locations such as Dolpa where many other organizations are hesitant to work at the moment. They provided us with valuable suggestions and asked for our assistance not only in continuing to improve the Maternal and Child Health sector in Dolpa, but also the development of health as a whole, which is of course something to strive for! 

I should also mention that this month marks one of the biggest festivals of the year in Nepal - Happy Dashain!

Thank you for all of the continued support.

Saldang Birthing Center Site
Saldang Birthing Center Site
Yak Caravan to Dolpa
Yak Caravan to Dolpa
On the hike to Dolpa
On the hike to Dolpa
Nepal Program Director at the PAC Meeting
Nepal Program Director at the PAC Meeting

Links:

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