Nepal has incredibly high rates of maternal and neonatal mortality resulting from preventable issues such as severe bleeding, infections, high blood pressure, birth asphyxia (lack of oxygen at birth), and complications related to preterm birth. One Heart Worldwide is addressing these high rates of mortality by creating a "Network of Safety" around pregnant women and their newborns to combat these very preventable causes through the training of skilled professionals and facility upgrades.
In Nepal, the current official maternal mortality ratio (MMR) is 258 per 100,000 live births and the neonatal mortality rate (NMR) is 21 per 1000 births.The three main causes of maternal deaths are severe bleeding; infections; and high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia and eclampsia).The three main causes of neonatal deaths are infections, birth asphyxia (lack of oxygen at birth), and complications related to preterm birth. Most of these deaths are preventable with simple interventions and training.
One Heart Worldwide has developed the Network of Safety model to address the gaps and barriers that limit access to quality maternal and neonatal health services at all levels of the health system. This model is focused on training health workers, upgrading existing facilities, and collaborating directly with the government at a policy level to ensure maternal and neonatal health is a priority and health workers have the training and tools they need to do their jobs.
The OHW model includes local political, cultural and religious stakeholders as well as other local organizations (mothers' groups, NGOs, teachers) in the planning and implementation of the network of safety. We specifically train local community oversight committees to oversee proper program implementation, thereby creating a sense of community ownership of the program. The committees serve to oversee the proper utilization of each certified health center.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).