A new era for mothers and babies in Budar, Nepal

A mother to be is examined by a health worker trained by CARE

Budar is a village in the hills of far western Nepal. The terrain makes travel difficult and people have little access to health care facilities.

CARE International is working with this community and others like it to further the quality of health services, strengthening the local area’s own ability to improve maternal and newborn health.

The people of this area face extra challenges. Many are members of marginalised ethnic minorities. They are discriminated against and have even been denied health services due to their position in society.

CARE is training health workers and providing medical supplies including safe delivery kits. Pregnant women and their fathers and grandparents are trained to look out for danger signs in the women and their new babies and what to do in case of an emergency.

Ganga Devi, 40, Budar’s community health worker said: “There has been a lot of change. First people didn’t even know the basics like hygiene, vaccinations or oral rehydration but now we know more. I received 15 days training and extra training about respiratory infections. CARE has given me very good training in neonatal care. It is has really helped to build my ability to help new babies.

“Women used to be afraid when they went in to labour but now they know it is better with more facilities available to them.

“In the past lots of children died. We used to take them to the local healers but this doesn’t happen anymore. We know more about the illnesses and what medicines we need to treat them.”

Ganga is quick to point out that they want to keep improving facilities in their community. “We are trained, we have equipment, the thing we hope to have in the future is our own building where we can meet and keep all the equipment safe.”

Until now there has been no midwife and no safe place for women to give birth in this area of Nepal. In fact this is all about to change with CARE International’s help as a delighted health manager, Kamal, describes: “A midwife has been hired and the birthing centre will be open in 2-3 months. I feel it will be a very good thing. It will benefit a lot of people. CARE is building the capacity of the centre by providing equipment and monitoring staff – making sure we are doing our job properly.”

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News and stories are provided by CARE staff working to support our emergency responses and long-term development programmes.