Shari Davis & Ellen Currin are InTheField Travelers with GlobalGiving who are visiting our partners’ projects throughout Nepal. Their “Postcard” from their most recent visit in Nepal:
The atmosphere of One Heart Worldwide's office was calm and relaxed as we spoke to Mary Richards, the midwife and in-country coordinator of One Heart’s programs in Nepal. She spoke to us about the high rates of maternal and infant mortality in the remote area of Dolpa where one of their projects is being implemented. Mary gave us details on the current implementation of trainings for skilled birth attendants and community health workers. Using government guidelines, One Heart Worldwide builds curriculum to be used in training various healthcare workers on skills to save the lives of mothers and infants. Mary also explained the program’s recent partnership with Medic Mobile and the trial of cell phones as a tool for SMS data collection. A few other staff members joined in the conversation, providing us evaluation data from the past few years reflecting the impact of their programs; their work has contributed to a dramatic increase in antenatal care visits and facility-based deliveries over the past few years.
During our visit we were able to meet the District Health Officer of Baglung, another project location, who gave us insight into the struggles of providing quality healthcare in a low-resource setting. He explained how very grateful he is for One Heart’s contribution and support, and told us he desires to strengthen the partnership in order to serve more of the population.
Before we completed our visit, Mary took us downstairs to a space devoted to the Medic Mobile project and a uterine prolapse prevention program. We met the staff managing these projects and saw the training equipment and supplies used: full sets of solar-powered cellphone batteries and chargers waiting to be shipped, training materials on uterine prolapse, and kits for community based health workers to assess newborns for life threatening illnesses. Contents of the kits were all manufactured in Nepal and One Heart is supporting the purchase and distribution of these kits, in addition to the training. Sitting in Mary’s office, we heard a success story which epitomized the work of the organization: one community health worker, after receiving One Heart’s training, used her knowledge to recognize ecclampsia in a pregnant mom, resulting in quick referral, treatment, and a safe delivery for mother and baby.
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