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24 Apr 24

Meet Bhabana: Nurse/Midwife in Rugin, Western Nepal.

Bhabana (on the right of the photo) is from Dailekh in Karnali Province, next to Sudurpaschim Province where Bajura is.

She has been an ANM for 4 years but has been only working for PHASE for just under 2 years. She was previously working in Dhailek District Hospital for 2.5 years and was there throughout the COVID pandemic, working in an isolation ward. Rugin is her first PHASE posting and she values the diversity of the work she does – community health education, nutrition, sanitation education over just the clinical work in the hospital. She shared that PHASE gives her an opportunity to do community work which is more varied – 3 days at a Health Post and 3 days in the community. (All Nepalis, including all PHASE Staff work 6 days a week, only having Saturdays off to themselves).

She admits that it can be very challenging to do the job everyday so far from their own families, as in Rugin there is no internet and only a weak mobile signal so she can only talk to her family on the phone when there is sufficient signal. She estimates she has supported to deliver 200 babies and enjoys supporting women to prepare to become mothers.

She spends 50% of her time doing clinical work in the Health Post and 50% working in the community, from delivering outreach camps for remote villages, to training Female Community Health Volunteers and running nutrition workshops. An important part of her job is measuring children for signs of malnutrition – regularly assessing weight against height and measuring the circumference of their arms using a MUAC band to assess for malnutrition and referral to growth promotion and monitoring.

“Thanks to PHASE for the opportunity to work in a rural area as an ANM. It is challenging to leave home and work in such a place requiring full emotion and dedication. Hopefully time will change Rugin, and it won’t need PHASE in the future. Sometimes I feel tired, but mostly proud and happy to be in this remote area”.

Although both ANMs have now been transferred to different Health Posts, they are still working for PHASE, as it is common for ANMS to only work in very remote settings for a certain time.

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