In rural Nepal, maternal mortality is one of the highest in the world. Our workshops will educate 500 female community health workers, EDWON women's group leaders and group members from the marginalized Dalit ("untouchable") caste, in lifesaving maternal and neonatal care and family planning. Such knowledge is crucial for women's and girls' empowerment as well as their health. Doctors from our partner Nidan ("cure") will train 70 women who will benefit directly and then train 430 others.
In Nepal, a woman dies every 4 hours from pregnancy-related causes. Unsafe practices and lack of access to skilled birth attendants and contraception contribute to the high maternal mortality rate. Dalit women, whose average lifespan is only 42 years, are systematically repressed by caste and gender and fare worse for all social indicators, especially in isolated rural areas. Good maternal health and family planning are prerequisites to empower these rural women socially and economically.
In three project communities a team of doctors and facilitators will conduct a 3-day train-the trainer workshop for 20-25 local female health workers and EDWON group leaders, influential in their communities. Most importantly, the participant trainees will be taught to educate other women in practices for healthy pregnancies, basic neonatal care, and how to obtain and use inexpensive contraception. 8 months later, a smaller team returns to give a 2-day follow-up refresher workshop.
EDWON has worked successfully in Dalit communities for 15 years, focusing on micro savings, human rights training and livelihood education. As requested by our women, we recently added this workshop. Through this project, 500 women will gain control of childbearing, while they and their children will live healthier lives. With this life-saving knowledge, these Dalit women, who are systematically degraded and marginalized, will be much closer to claiming their human rights and living in dignity.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
From NIDAN's blog on the 2012 workshop in Taklung
A photo journalist records a birth in rural Nepal