OHW Nepal meeting with local people in Saldang
It was a busy summer for the One Heart Nepal Team. Over the past few months we have held numerous trainings, and have made headway on some new and exciting projects!
So far in Dolpa district, we have trained a total of 293 community outreach providers (health workers and community health volunteers). Our three newly trained skilled birth attendant have been stationed at key health posts across the district. A pilot of our MedicMobile project, using mobile phones and SMS to deliver safe motherhood messages and check-up reminders to remote communities, is now underway. Sanitation has improved greatly with the installation of running water at the Dunai birthing center, the first in a circuit of 5 birthing centers that we hope to have completed by the end of our project. To date, we have had 117 births at the Dunai birthing center since its opening in November of 2011. We are very pleased to announce that our second birthing center, located in Dho Tarap, was inaugurated last month! Many members of the local community, including local Rinpoches and Lamas (religious leaders), local Amchis (doctors), and representatives of other NGOs working in Upper Dolpa attended the ribbon cutting ceremony. There was much excitement surrounding the opening of the birthing center and One Heart felt very welcomed by the local community.
On the way to Dho Tarap, our team visited potential sites for the next birthing center we plan to open in the very north of the district, in Saldang. Our field team met with the local people to discuss what they saw to be the major issues regarding their access to maternal and infant health services as well as the challenges they faced. After visiting with the communities and touring the sites discussed for the new clinic and satellite clinics, the team felt very confident in ability to move forward as planned. The proposed sites will be perfect for our needs and those of the community.
A large festival also took place last month – the Shey Gompa Festival (a religious festival occurring once every 12 years). It was a treat for One Heart to participate in the festival this year. In conjunction with various organizations, we organized a medical camp at the festival, during which we were able to serve more than 1,100 patients. The team also performed a role-play on maternal and neonatal life-saving skills in the local language and gave a short presentation on how to solve existing maternal and neonatal health issues and major challenges to accessing health care in Upper Dolpa. There was a huge turnout at the festival and everyone seemed to enjoy our programs. It was also a great learning opportunity for our team, as we were able to meet with the local people to find out which issues were most important to them. Unfortunately, we also learned that late in the summer there had been an outbreak of measles, which took the lives of 30 children who were unable to get treatment in time. OHW and the communities vowed to work together to face challenges to health care, such as this type of epidemic and the lack of access to preventative care that people in Upper Dolpa face.
It was a busy summer, but everyone involved in the project is excited about moving forward and what is to come next. None of it would be possible without your support, and so from the entire One Heart team, I would like to offer you all our most sincere thanks!
Inauguration of the Dho Tarap Birthing Center
Banner at the Shey Festival Medical Camp
Group shot with Rinpoches
Role-play at the Shey Festival
Site of new Saldang Birthing Center