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Birthing the future

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016
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An ultrasound being performed by a trained health professional in the recently inaugurated Indrawati Jana Sewa Samiti Health Post in Sindhupalchowk.

An ultrasound being performed by a trained health professional in the recently inaugurated Indrawati Jana Sewa Samiti Health Post in Sindhupalchowk. Pics: Gopen Rai

Hailing from Bhotenamlang – 9 in Sindhupalchowk, 26-year-old Anu Shrestha gave birth to her first child at what is claimed to be the first birthing centre in the area. “I feel very lucky and happy that such a facility is so close by,” shares Shrestha.

The new birthing centre is housed in a health post that was entirely destroyed in the 7.8 magnitude earthquake last year. Inaugurated by The Global Shapers Kathmandu Hub on 29 February, Indrawati Jana Sewa Samiti Health Post in Sindhupalchowk is one of the first health posts to be reconstructed following the earthquake.

With the aim of servicing over 40,000 villagers from 10 VDCs, the health post will provide basic services like family planning, ultrasound, and other maternal care facilities for women in Sindhupalchowk.

“The community health post is very close by. Otherwise, we have to walk almost 3 hours just to get an ultrasound,” said a local villager who had come to attend the free health camp arranged after the inauguration event.

A collaborative effort of the community and Global Shapers Kathmandu, the 5,000 patient capacity health post was built by Insular Dry Wall using prefabricated material. It is also being supported by organizations like Coca Cola, Nivea, Dow Medical College, Madanlal Chirangilal Group, Reliance Group Nepal, and One Heart Worldwide.

The Global Shapers Community Kathmandu team with eight year old Karishma. The idea of reconstructing the collapsed health post was born after Karishma's rescue from the rubble of her wrecked house by the team after the April 2015 earthquake .

The Global Shapers Kathmandu Hub team with eight year old Karishma. The idea of reconstructing the collapsed health post was born after Karishma’s rescue from the rubble of her wrecked house by the team after the April 2015 earthquake .

“At least twice a month, I hear cases of women losing their newborn babies while coming to this health post. Now that we have this birthing center, I hope things will change for the better,” says a hopeful Shanta Dhirel, the managing clinician of the health post.

Within this year, Global Shapers Kathmandu also plans to introduce various training programs to involve and empower more villagers.

District Health Officer, Dr Sagar Kumar Rajbhandari, agrees that training is a must if the community health post is to be self-sufficient. “The question now is of sustainability,” he says. “The villagers will have to be trained and taught how to maintain this facility.”

Smriti Basnet

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