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Sumitra Malla

Sumitra Malla is a 23 year old mother of a two year old boy, living in the village of Kolti, Bajura. Sumitra wanted to have another baby in a year or so, however, in spite of taking contraceptive pills she found herself pregnant. Two months into the pregnancy she developed repetitive pain in her right lower abdomen; she went to a nearby private pharmacy and was given painkillers which seemed to ease the pain.

Despite this, a week later the pain came back, but this time the pain was significantly worse. Sumitra’s husband took her to the Primary Healthcare Centre (PHCC) in Kolti, where she met Muna – a PHASE Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM). Muna suspected an ectopic pregnancy, a potentially life threatening complication of early pregnancy. She asked a government doctor working in the centre to see her – Dr. Sattya Shahi. After seeing her, he agreed that an ectopic pregnancy was a high probability as well as appendicitis.

The team at the PHCC in Kolti, supported by PHASE health workers, consulted Sumitra and her family and suggested immediate surgery. The health staff were able to arrange Sumitra a seat on the next flight out of Kolti to Nepalguin, where she could be taken to regional hospital appropriate for the surgery. Sumitra arrived safely at the hospital, the staff there identified that it was indeed a pregnancy in her right tube; fortunately Sumitra had successful surgery that addressed the problem at the early stages. Sumitra is now safely back in Kolti, and her family are grateful for the prompt action of the health staff at the PHCC.

PHASE has been supporting the PHCC in Kolti since January 2014 with additional staff and medicinal supplies. Initially PHASE posted two ANMs, a lab assistant and a senior health assistant at the PHCC but since the working environment has improved through this support, PHASE has been able to reduce its staff input to just one ANM.

Kolti PHCC provides primary healthcare services to around 20,000 people in the region and on average 250 mothers each year safely deliver their babies at this facility. The next hospital on from the PHCC is an additional days walk away, or a 6 hour drive on very poor roads. PHASE are proud to have been able to revitalise this important health facility, increasing the number of patients the facility can service. Providing essential healthcare to isolated communities, working to reduce the impact of health problems on their livelihoods and education.

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