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
Apr 16, 2014

Birthing Center Upgrades in Baglung District

practice exercise
practice exercise

We have been hard at work upgrading birthing centers in areas of high need in the District of Baglung in order to reach our goal of upgrading ten birthing centers in this district. The upgrades range from providing structural renovations and improved plumbing to equipping the centers the most basic delivery equipment to providing more advanced devices such as portable ultrasound machines. These upgrades are essential to ensure access to clean, safe deliveries in the remote areas of Nepal where we work. The birthing centers that we support are equipped to handle normal deliveries and manage certain emergencies. To demonstrate the impact that the upgrades are having so far, last month it was reported that there had been a 300% increase in deliveries at the Hatiya birthing center since it was upgraded. The upgraded facility has allowed more women to deliver at the local health post and has thus reduced the amount of unnecessary, and often dangerous, transfers over rough roads that were frequently made to referral hospitals prior to these upgrades.

Thanks to a partnership with We Care Solar, OHW is able to provide solar electricity in these birthing centers using their innovative Solar Suitcases. The lack of stable electricity at many birthing centers makes it very difficult for Skilled Birth Attendants to safely attend deliveries occurring in the middle of the night. Each Solar Suitcase is equipped with an 18-volt battery and two LED lamps that provide very bright light that is sufficient to light the way for birth attendants. In some cases the Solar Suitcase is capable of charging the battery of a portable ultrasound, making it possible to provide ultrasound services at any time of day, aiding in the early detection of pregnancy complications.

With Solar Suitcases, we are able to now provide ultrasound machines to the birthing centers in birthing centers or referral clinics. These ultrasound machines are strategically in highly populated areas as an effort to bring maternal health services closer to those mothers who need it most.

In addition to these facility upgrades, we provide trainings on how to use all the equipment. In March, OHW held a training for 30 people in the use of the ultrasound. Those trained included a combination of skilled birth attendants (SBAs), nurses and doctors that are located in the communities where the ultrasounds are placed. On a recent trip to Baglung, we installed two of the Solar Suitcases in two birthing centers and trained four SBAs on how to install, operate, and maintain them. In the next few months we will be installing seven more suitcases and training 14 more SBAs on ultrasound use and maintenance.

The best way to learn about the programs that we implement in Nepal is to have the firsthand experience. Going for the first time in March was something to remember, being able to see the impact that with your help we are able to generate has no price. The numbers can prove that our model works, but seeing the smile of women and children are best felt being there. Once a birthing center is upgraded, people in these communities not only appreciate this, but they do everything in their hands to put these center to great use, with that feeling of communal ownership. We are grateful to see the changes and the impact your money creates, and are more than happy to share the field stories with you and invite you to come with us and have the same experience. A group of donors came with us in March, and we are hoping to repeat this experience later this year. Please let us know if you want to join us in this adventure of new learnings from our programs. 

practice excercise
practice excercise
training excercise
training excercise
Job is done!
Job is done!
Ultrasound training
Ultrasound training
Ultraspund training
Ultraspund training

Links:

Jan 23, 2014

Happy New Year! Feliz Ano Nuevo!

Tarahumara girl and infant
Tarahumara girl and infant

As we move forward into a new year, we would like to take a moment to reflect on all that was accomplished over the past 12 months.

In 2013, a total of 390 Community Health Volunteers and 365 Health Providers were trained. An additional 200 health workers participated in trainings on Multiculturalism and Humanization of Obstetric Care, and the first symposium on the same topic offered in the state of Chihuahua.

In other news, One Heart World-Wide worked with our local government partners to provide food incentives to all Community Health Volunteers. This allows us to offer thanks and compensation to our volunteers and increases the sustainability of our model. Volunteers are able to provide for their families in exchange for their time and dedication, which both increases volunteers ability to continue to work with us and improves the health of their families and communities.

Another huge milestone for our programs in 2013 was the approval of the use of Misoprostol in the communities of the Sierra Tarahumara. One Heart World-Wide has been incorporating Misoprostol into our programs as an effective means of postpartum hemorrhage prevention and management in Tibet and Nepal. However, due to regulations regarding Misoprostol in Mexico, it has not been available for use outside of larger hospitals until recently. Through advocating for its use in rural areas, One Heart was able to work with the state government to allow Community Health Workers to use the life-saving drug to manage postpartum hemorrhage. Misoprostol is ideal for use in remote locations as it can be administered in a pill form and does not require refrigeration such as similar injectable drugs that are commonly used for postpartum hemorrhage management. One Heart is excited that Community Health Workers will now also be able to administer the drug when necessary, and will continue to work with the goverment manage its use. The expanded reach of Misoprostol will help prevent many women from dying in childbirth, as postpartum hemorrhage is the most common cause of maternal deaths in the region. This development shows the strong collaboration that exists between OHW and the state government, and the shared goal to eradicate maternal deaths in the Copper Canyon.

We also wanted to share an anecdote from last year that we found particularly inspiring:

Ángel and Feliciana are One Heart Mexico volunteers. We spoke with Ángel recently and he confessed to us that when his wife, Feliciana, first began volunteering with One Heart, he did not believe in the program. Some months later, as he saw the positive changes that his wife’s commitment was brining to the community, Ángel changed his mind and decided that he, too, wanted to get involved. He was familiar with the small center where his wife and other volunteers held their meetings and gave talks. The small cement room did not have a roof and activities were often cancelled due to rain, strong winds, and other extreme climate conditions common to the canyons. Weather rendered many volunteer activities impossible in the winter months. Wanting to help, Ángel took three weeks of his time to build a roof and reconstruct the community center. Today the center is bigger and better. Volunteers gather there often for meetings and to host health education talks on Sundays. The small building has become an important center of active and ongoing community participation. Ángel now feels very proud to be helping the women in his town and finally feels empowered to make a difference in his community. He has also become a community volunteer, making community visits to deliver clean birth kits and safe motherhood messages to help ensure healthier outcomes for pregnant women and newborns in the Sierras.

We are very excited about our accomplishments in 2013 and we are looking forward to many more successes in the year ahead. Thank you for your continued support and your part in making our work possible.

Thanks!

Master Trainer training community volunteers
Master Trainer training community volunteers
OH Staff working with community volunteer
OH Staff working with community volunteer
Community Center upgraded by Angel
Community Center upgraded by Angel
Feliciana demonstrating use of blood pressure cuff
Feliciana demonstrating use of blood pressure cuff

Links:

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:

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