Maternal & Infant Health Project


The Maternal & Infant Health Project of the Green Tara Trust in Pharping, Nepal

Women's group meeting in Pharping (Traud-Dubois 2010)

Background

Nepal has some of the worst figures in the world for women and children dying in childbirth, lack of contraceptive use and specific vitamin related malnutrition. Maternal and infant mortality are linked to young pregnancies, lack of antenatal care, no trained assistant at delivery and poor post natal follow up. HIV and other sexually transmitted infections are increasing rapidly. 85% of Nepal is rural and these areas have much worse health indicators than urban areas. This is due to poverty and poor access to health facilities.

Concept

Health worker with mother and newborn baby and donated baby blanket (Kadel 2009)

The overall aim of the project is to improve wellbeing through decreased maternal, neonatal and infant mortality rates and diseases relating to reproductive and sexual health practices. The Health Promotion Programme uses community participatory approach in two rural areas of Nepal. The knowledge & behaviour of target groups regarding sexual and reproductive health increase through the activities of health promotion groups. The knowledge and attitudes of local health staff to deliver relevant, timely, accessible services improve through training and capacity building. As a result, the prenatal and postnatal care, services & practices improve. Direct beneficiaries in the project area are 5,500 people, mainly women, babies and teenagers.

Importance for Rural Development

Project village meeting in Pharping (Stevens 2008)

The importance of maternal & infant health for development is obvious. Healthy mothers give birth to healthy children. Informed mothers care more competent for the wellbeing of their offspring. Therefore women need to be educated about the basics of hygiene, health care and nutrition. The support and training of community health groups is an effective and sustainable approach in a country, where women have little decision making power in their individual life. In addition, in a country as poorly equipped with health services as Nepal capacity building and support of existing structures is crucial.

 

 

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