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15 Sep 21

Handing Over Health Posts in Gorkha

One of PHASE’s key values is sustainability. We want the difference we make in the communities we support to last long into the future. To achieve this long lasting difference, we are committed to strengthening and expanding existing government services. We aim to make positive changes, but not to stay.

Before the 2015 earthquake, PHASE Nepal was supporting two health posts in Gorkha with health workers and medicine. At that time, both health posts were small, run down houses which were not suitable to be used as health facilities. Due to insufficient birthing equipment and space, most of the women in the community still had to deliver at home with support from PHASE ANMs.

During the 2015 earthquake, the Kerauja health post was destroyed and the Kashigaun health post was significantly damaged. PHASE staff continued providing essential health care services using temporary tents until the reconstruction of the new health posts was completed. Eventually, the Gorkha health posts were reconstructed and contained separate birthing rooms and brand new equipment. 

Recently, after five years of support, PHASE handed both health posts back to the government of Nepal. The training, equipment and knowledge gained during our support of these health posts will enable the community to continue benefitting from improved healthcare provision, long after PHASE’s departure.

Below are just a few of the fantastic achievements we’ve made whilst supporting these health posts:

Speaking with the PHASE team, an ANM involved in the project shared, People from the community have told me that they are grateful to PHASE for teaching them the importance of eating green vegetables and preparing nutritious food for their babies.” Previously, people living in these communities lacked a diverse and well-balanced diet, consuming mostly potatoes, rice, corn and lentils, which do little to meet the nutritional needs of both children and adults. Now, through regular nutrition, agriculture and child healthcare sessions, families are not only aware of the importance of a healthy and varied diet, but have the skills and knowledge to produce green vegetables in their own gardens. 

A Nutritious Food Workshop at Kerauja Health Post

To strengthen the long term healthcare provision in the community, PHASE works closely with government representatives and local leaders, who are regularly engaged and informed on PHASE actions. In addition, Female Community Health Volunteers are vital to the long-lasting impact in the community and have been actively engaged in PHASE health activities. PHASE conducts monthly awareness and training sessions specially for FCHVs, which has vastly improved their knowledge of maternal and child healthcare. FCHVs are now able to encourage women to seek antenatal and postnatal care, whilst having the ability to identify possible illnesses within children, such as pneumonia or malnutrition.

FCHV Training at Kerauja Health Post

Accessing the appropriate sanitary products during menstruation is challenging in many areas of Nepal. Both health posts are situated in an incredibly remote region of Gorkha, where the nearest road is around five hours walk away. This often means that young girls and women find it challenging to maintain personal hygiene during menstruation. During the school health education sessions, PHASE helped female students to make reusable pads and ran reproductive health lessons. As a result, school attendance has increased and young girls now feel comfortable in discussing menstruation and reproductive health more openly. 

School Health Education Session in Gorkha

PHASE has now handed over both health posts to the Health Post Management Committee, which includes a ward representative, FCHVs, Mothers groups and local community leaders. Currently, there are government staff at both health posts, including Health Assistants, ANMs and Certified Medical Assistants. Both health posts are now well-equipped and well-staffed and in a far better position to provide vital advice and care to those who need it. We are confident that the progress made over the past five years will continue to benefit these communities long into the future.

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