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
Dec 1, 2015

Autumn Update

Namaste!

Thank you for your generous support for Nepal in the six months since the earthquakes!  Your contributions have greatly aided our emergency response in Dhading and Sindhupalchok, where more than half of the existing birthing centers and health facilities were destroyed or severely damaged.

Damaged health facilities resulted in many deliveries being conducted in unsanitary conditions such as in tents or even on the streets, with reduced access to birthing centers compelling many mothers to give birth at home. In the months following the earthquake, One Heart’s emergency relief teams reported higher numbers of neonatal deaths and post-partum sepsis, one of the leading causes of death for mothers and newborns.

Drawing on its strong local knowledge and relationships, One Heart has met the Nepali government’s request to set up 20 fully-equipped temporary birthing tents in Dhading and Sindhupalchok, and plans to reinforce and renovate partially damaged facilities to meet certified birthing center standards. These tents have been essential points of accessible healthcare for many expecting mothers in the months since the earthquakes, equipped with skilled birth attendants, medical supplies, portable ultrasounds, and solar suitcases to provide reliable electricity.

Jyoti, 23, was pregnant with her third child when the earthquakes hit, demolishing her home and forcing her family to move into a temporary shelter. Married at 17 to a farmer, she says that lack of knowledge and access to healthcare in her remote village community dissuaded her from seeking prenatal care during previous pregnancies. She had been planning to visit the nearest birthing center for this pregnancy, but it was closed after the aftershocks, severely limiting her options, especially in transitional housing. After hearing of the temporary birthing centers from a shelter visit by a One Heart emergency team member, Jyoti was able to start attending check-ups in nearby Maidi with skilled birth attendant (SBA) Gita, and delivered a healthy baby girl on November 1.

Jyoti and women like her are able to have the clean, safe, attended births they need thanks to your support. As we put more permanent structures in place, the tents continue to serve as functional health posts, providing much needed services to women and children.

Thank you for your continued support!  

Jul 21, 2015

Progress in Nepal

Anu and her baby at home1
Anu and her baby at home1

Namaste!

Thank you so much for your generosity to the people of Nepal during this difficult time. Your generous support will help us to begin fixing the damaged health posts in the districts of Dhading and Sindhupalchok. When we do rebuild, we will build stronger structures that can withstand future quakes. We have already conducted needs assessments of the destroyed birthing centers and needs across both districts and plan to begin this process after the monsoon season ends this fall. 

In the meantime, One Heart World-Wide has been delivering essential medical supplies and installing fully-furnished, equipped, and staffed solar tents for deliveries in the areas where the health posts have been destroyed. They are already being widely used by villagers and have seen over 40 deliveries, and many more prenatal and postnatal check ups. The tents can be in place for up to 5 years and will be open on a 24-hour basis, staffed by skilled birth attendants around the clock. They are fully furnished and equipped for deliveries and basic medical treatments. 

I want to share with you today a story from one of the women who delivered in a tent recently:

Anu (photographed), 20, was seven months pregnant when the first earthquake struck. In addition to the struggle for basic human needs—food, shelter and clothing—in the wake of the disaster, Anu faced the daunting prospect of travel through her devastated country to a functioning facility for the birth of her daughter. Following the quake, One Heart installed a delivery tent in her hometown of Bhitmar, where Anu’s beautiful daughter was welcomed into the world on June 19, 2015. Anu was grateful to the health workers and supporters of One Heart for granting her and other new mothers access to prenatal care and a safe and hygienic birth.

Women like Anu will be able to deliver in the health posts that you helped build very soon. 

Thank you for your generous support! We look forward to reporting on construction in the coming months! 

Anu and her baby at home
Anu and her baby at home

Links:

Mar 25, 2015

Dhading Birthing Center Preparations are Underway, Thanks to you!

One Heart staff meeting with District Partners
One Heart staff meeting with District Partners

 

Dear NAME,

I am so pleased to write to you today and report on your gift toward establishing a new birthing center in a remote part of Nepal’s Dhading district.

Your support will make a tremendous difference in the lives of the pregnant women of Dhading district who will soon be able to access lifesaving care for their pregnancies and deliveries. Access to a trained skilled health provider with the proper equipment and supplies to assist during complicated deliveries often means the difference between life and death.

We have already selected the 10 birthing centers that will be upgraded this year, and we are in the process of conducting in-depth facility assessments in each community to ensure that we are very familiar with each center and its specific needs. We are also conducting discussions with the local communities to assess the ability of each community to participate in the building renovation process (most communities provide labor and some of the building materials). As the individual assessments are completed, we purchase the medical equipment and supplies needed to upgrade each birthing center (once the physical renovations of the building are complete). This process is lengthy as we do a very thorough job to only buy what is needed, go where the need is greatest, assess community participation and, most importantly ensure the birthing center’s long-term success.

We will be sure to send photographs and a progress report of the “after” once construction has been completed in the coming months. 

With deep gratitude,

 

Arlene Samen
Founder & Executive Director

Renovated Birthing Center in Another District
Renovated Birthing Center in Another District
 

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