Maternal and Child Health

Why Mothers Need More Than a Hospital

In rural Nepal, pregnancy is referred to as a “gamble with death.”

Photo Credit: Possible

Rupa nearly lost the gamble. She was born in her own home, but her mother warned her of the dangers of home births. Rupa, like so many other pregnant women, wanted to give birth in a safe healthcare facility near her home.

When she went into labor, she immediately journeyed to the nearest clinic. There was only one midwife present and part way through her delivery the nurse suspected complications.

Rupa knew she needed additional help.

Rupa is from a district called Mellekh, which is a two-hour drive over rough roads to our hospital in Bayalpata—a drive that is impossible to make during the monsoon season because of the road conditions. Rupa called for an ambulance. Possible’s ambulance driver came to pick her up and bring her to our hospital in time to safely deliver a baby boy.

Rupa’s story has a happy ending. She gave birth to a beautiful baby boy after an intense labor and the imperative help of two of our midwives. Mothers who are fortunate to be close to a hospital can also experience safe and healthy deliveries. Without having trained staff and professional services, the baby could have died. At Possible’s hospital hub in rural Nepal, the number of births taking place within the facility has grown over 900% since 2010. We believe a hospital is not enough.

What pregnant women really need, in a region with one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, is access to safe birthing centers closer to their homes and support throughout their pregnancies.

Which is why Possible exists, and why we have pioneered an approach called Durable Healthcare that puts safe births at the center of our integrated model. It is also why the percentage of women delivering in health facilities is one of our six Key Performance Indicators.

We solve the problems of pregnant mothers like Rupa by having female community health workers provide training and referral support in villages. The health workers coordinate with local community governments to transform clinics into safe birthing centers and link clinics to a central hospital with ambulances for emergency deliveries.

This model is supported financially through a partnership with the Nepali government’s Safe Motherhood Program, where both pregnant mothers and Possible receive payments for attending prenatal care visits and delivering in a health facility. It is a model of safe births that works fully for pregnant women, not partially—a model that ensures all mothers can have a happy ending like Rupa.

This post is from one of our partners. Possible, is a healthcare company that delivers high-quality, low-cost healthcare to the world’s poor. 

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Category: Health    Maternal and Child Health
Tagged with: Healthcare    Maternal Health    Medical care    Midwives    Mothers and babies    nepal    Possible


marketing director at Possible. formerly at Greatist. Still running, finding zen, and searching for the perfect bloody mary.

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