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
Feb 5, 2016

Giving the gift of safe births, now and onwards.

Training on proper use of Solar Suitcases
Training on proper use of Solar Suitcases

Achieving skilled attendance at every birth has emerged as a global priority, and women in high-risk regions are increasingly being encouraged to deliver in health facilities. This challenge is particularly acute in remote rural areas around the world. One Heart's Network of Safety model addresses the barriers that limit access to quality maternal and neonatal healthcare services at all levels of the existing local healthcare infrastructure, reducing the risk of maternal and neonatal deaths. We effect sustainable and long-term systemic changes based on an integration of local resources, local government officials, national policy makers, local communities and local healthcare providers, while respecting cultural norms and practices.  

There are currently 35 under-served districts in Nepal where the maternal and neonatal mortality rate is anywhere between 2 to 5 times higher than the national average. Currently, OHW is working to reduce these rates in five of these districts. Our 2016 New Year's Resolution is to expand to four additional districts. The funds raised from this project will be used on:  

 

  • Health education programs for medical providers: One Heart World-Wide implements training packages for healthcare providers in the community, primary healthcare facilities and referral hospitals to provide knowledge and skills to better manage the most common conditions of pregnancy/childbirth and newborns. These training packages include newborn care, birth preparedness, infections prevention training as well as skilled birth attendant training and advanced training programs for hospital staff. This approach rationalizes training along a continuum of care; from pregnancy through the newborn period and from the household level to the referral hospital level.
  • Health facility improvement: One Heart World-Wide upgrades the infrastructure, medical equipment and staffing of existing healthcare facilities to establish a network of certified birthing centers in strategic locations. In addition, we upgrade the referral hospitals into facilities where comprehensive emergency obstetric care can be accessed.
  • Community empowerment and health education for families: One Heart World-Wide integrates and empowers local stakeholders to become the drivers of change. Through community engagement activities, focus groups, collaboration with women’s groups and religious leaders we integrate community entrepreneurs at the grassroots level to design, implement and sustain the program. By working with local stakeholders, we empower local communities to own the program and be accountable for progress and sustainability.

 

Health facility made of bamboo (earthquake proof)
Health facility made of bamboo (earthquake proof)
OHW Skilled Birth Attendant conducting ANC checkup
OHW Skilled Birth Attendant conducting ANC checkup

Links:

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

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