Disaster relief non-profit builds health post in Nepal, asks donations to reduce maternal mortality rate – Telegraph Nepal

SINDHULI/ Kathmandu, Nepal, June 24: All Hands and Hearts (AHAH), a U.S. non-profit organization helping people and communities impacted by disasters, is reaching out to its supporters and advocates of women’s health to raise donations to build additional water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities, as well as finalize construction of a family planning, sexual health and birthing center, in Sindhuli through their Nepal Relief Program.

According to AHAH, the health facilities and resources come at a time when Nepalese mothers are grappling with an increased mortality rate since the global pandemic began.

The maternal mortality rate (MMR) for Nepal was 186 per 100,000 before COVID-19, but since the pandemic struck, that rate has spiked. According to Nepal’s Department of Health, 258 women died as a result of pregnancy or childbirth between March 2020 and June 2021, a stark rise compared to the 51 maternal deaths the year prior.

“All Hands and Hearts’ long-term presence in the community has highlighted the prolific need of healthcare facilities and resources for new and expecting mothers,” said Jessica Thompson, CEO of AHAH.

“Because all of the work we do is donor funded, we’re calling on our supporters and allies of women’s health to help fundraise and volunteer for the critical work that desperately needs to be done in this area.”

To increase the impact of donor funding, AHAH’s board of directors and the AHAH UK Trust have pledged to match up to $50,000 of donations raised through June 26 for the Nepal Relief Program.

Having provided disaster relief to Nepal since the Gorkha earthquake in 2015, AHAH recently began channeling their energy and resources to improving health facilities in the area. Since January, AHAH has constructed a family planning, sexual health and birthing center, as well as two disaster-resilient buildings that will feature ultrasonography, family planning, reproductive healthcare, and labor, delivery and post-delivery rooms.

AHAH has also constructed additional WASH facilities at the health post in Dudhauli, a municipality within the Sindhuli region. The health post is responsible for serving 40,000 residents, but spacing and lack of facilities allows them to only serve half of its residents.

Together with NATAN Worldwide Disaster Relief and Relief Nepal, AHAH is conducting training focused on increasing the quality of care given by the local health post, including providing nurses and midwives with hands-on training to properly operate their new ultrasonography and x-ray equipment.

“The two maternity buildings undergoing construction would help address the current problems like the lack of sufficient infrastructure and competent health professionals to look after the maternity cases,” said Pramila, a 55-year-old auxiliary nursing midwife at the  Dudhauli health post. “We as health professionals and I, personally, are very much thankful for the efforts AHAH has put in – whether it is building the maternity wards or providing community health workers with much-needed training in areas such as reproductive health promotion, psychosocial, ultrasonography, first aid and maternal care training. We are truly enthralled by the idea of having two separate pre-birth and post-birth buildings.”

As part of the Sustainable Development Goal 3 of reducing the global MMR to less than 70 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030, organizations like AHAH are working with Nepal to help decrease the country’s MMR by at least 7.5 percent annually.

According to AHAH, donations are needed to continue construction of health facilities, as well as to provide training, WASH knowledge and skills, and promotion of overall public health.

Those interested in donating or learning more can visit the Nepal Relief Program page. For more information regarding AHAH, visit www.allhandsandhearts.org.

Members of the media interested in interviewing someone from All Hands and Hearts should contact Justin Clements at 812.621.0631 or [email protected]

About All Hands and Hearts:
Formed in 2017, All Hands and Hearts is a 501(c)3 that effectively and efficiently addresses the immediate and long-term needs of communities impacted by disasters. We communicate directly with local leaders and community members and then deploy our unique model of engaging volunteers to enable direct impact, helping to build safer, more resilient schools, homes and infrastructure.

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# A press release issued dated June 24, 2022, from All Hands and Hearts (AHAH), a U.S. non-profit organization: Ed. Upadhyaya.

# Our contact email address is: [email protected] 

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