24 – hour Birthing Unit at Dubiya Sub-Health Post
24 – hour Birthing Unit at Dubiya Sub-Health Post

Ardharbhoot Cooperative is one of UMN’s partners in Rupandehi. It works in Dubiya VDC, Kapilvastu district, implementing health programmes in its VDC where more than 60% of the population are from the Tharu (an ethnic minority) community. The VDC is divided into two parts by a river. There are five wards on the other side of the river, where there is a Sub-health Post in Rangai village. Six months ago, a 24-hour birthing unit has established at Dubiya Health Post with some support from UMN. UMN provided NRS 100,000 (AUD 1314) to help establish the birthing unit. After the planning workshop, the co-operative was able to get funds from the VDC (NRS 95,000, or AUD 1248) and from the District Health Office for staff salary and equipment. A Local Forest Users’ Committee has taken responsibility for the furniture. The District Development Committee has also committed to provide NRS 200,000 (AUD 2,628).

Initially, though, the District Health Office was not interested in running this unit. UMN visited and held a series of meetings with the District Health Office representative and explained to them that the area is very remote, a long distance from the district headquarters. The situation is very difficult during the monsoon season. There was a high probability of maternal death, because women cannot get to a Health Post if they have to cross the river. After a long process and many meetings, they were convinced when they understood the situation. Now the birthing unit is running at Dubiya Sub-health Post.

The birthing centre now provides great facilities for pregnant women from Arghakhachi district. Up to now, 14 women have given birth to their babies very safely with the help of an Auxilary Nurse Mid-wife (ANM). The group has also constructed a toilet and placenta pit, and put on an electricity service. They have acquired some furniture, like cupboards. There are two rooms for the birthing unit, and the ANM has been handling cases very well. Local women are very relieved!

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