UK Aid Direct grant holder, PHASE Worldwide is currently working to improve the lives and sexual and reproductive health and rights of women in rural Nepal.
The Karnali region, which takes 2-3 weeks of travel on a donkey to access, is one of the poorest and most remote areas in Nepal.
The region has the highest proportion of women (35%) in Nepal who report receiving no antenatal care.
Contraceptive prevalence is lower than the national average and only 45% of women aged between 15 and 49 have reported receiving antenatal care (at least once) from a skilled individual, with just 29% of deliveries attended by a qualified health worker.
PHASE Worldwide is making great strides to change these statistics.
The organisation employs qualified health workers who live in the community and work closely with government staff in health services.
Based in the government health centre 4 days a week, and conducting outreach activities 2 days a week, PHASE staff build strong relationships with local women’s groups and provide workshops and community meetings to offer a platform for discussions and working together.
Health workers offer guidance on issues such as hygiene and the dangers from certain cultural practices such as Chhaupadi, when mothers are excluded from the family home during (and after) childbirth, and during menstruation.
Maila health post Humla: a PHASE Auxilary Nurse Midwife listens to baby’s heartbeat
The major change that has happened as a result of this project is that many of the women in the region are attending the birthing centre to have their babies. Since PHASE started work in 2008 no women have died in childbirth in the village and very few babies have died, both common events before the project started.
Thank you to PHASE Worldwide for sharing their stories and photographs with us.