PHASE Worldwide is delighted to announce a new partnership with the Waterloo Foundation, who will be supporting our work in strengthening health systems and improving healthcare outcomes, particularly amongst women and children. This new funding will support the training, practices and resources of Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs) at three health posts, who provide vital maternal and child health services for families, filling the gaps in access to basic primary healthcare.
The villages of Kolti, Rugin and Bichhaya, in the District of Bajura, are areas where poor health, low education and few livelihood opportunities trap people in a cycle of poverty. The rural location of these communities, as well as outward migration and extreme weather cycles makes households particularly vulnerable.
The Covid-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdown in Nepal has reflected in worsening health indicators in Bajura. The number of women giving birth in a health facility or with a trained health professional has decreased from 60% to 7.6%, which has tragically increased the number of neonatal deaths. Access to food and medicine has also declined. These issues are underpinned by a general lack of understanding of what Covid-19 is and how people in these communities should adjust their daily lives in order to keep safe and mitigate the spread.
Funding from the Waterloo Foundation will play an important role in increasing the capacity of health posts in Kolti, Rugin and Bichhaya, in an effort to mitigate the worst effects of the pandemic and national lockdown in Nepal. Trained Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs) and Health Supervisors (HS) will be placed in each health post to support staff as well as provide further training, medicines and vital equipment including PPE. This will improve the confidence and skills of local nurses leading to improved quality of care, specifically tailored for pandemic preparedness and response. ANMs are also active within communities in spreading knowledge and awareness of the virus, as well as providing health services to members of the community who cannot access their local health post.
As Nepal’s lockdown has been lifted, Covid-19 transmission is beginning to rise once more. Support from the Waterloo Foundation will enable us to maintain full operations at the three health posts in the Bajura District, ensuring that health systems have the capacity to mitigate the negative implications of another potential lockdown.
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