Maternal Care with Dignity
Maternal Care with Dignity

Kanchan and two other members of UMN’s health team came to
Mahadevsthan village, Dhading district to run an emergency nutrition
training programme for health workers. Here is their story.

had to sleep in an open waiting area of the Health Post, as the
building was cracked inside and unsafe to sleep in. At around 10:30 at
night, we were about to go to sleep when the beam of a torch struck our
eyes. We woke up in fear and asked who it was; a young girl replied
saying that a baby had been born. She was carrying a newborn baby,
delivered by her sister-in-law on their way to the Health Post. The
mother was following on foot. To imagine a woman walking two long hours
to Health Post for delivery was heart-wrenching. Here, this young woman,
Anita Chepang (22) had delivered a baby girl on the way in the dark
night, and walked the rest of the way to the Health Post afterward. Two
of her younger sisters-in -law and her mother-in-law were accompanying
The baby had already turned all red due to the cold. We
immediately took the baby to the Maternal and Newborn Care section of
the Health Post. One of our team members with CMA background helped cut
the baby’s umbilical cord. Fortunately, we had brought safe delivery
kits along with our reproductive health relief package. As Health Posts
in Nepal have a 24-hour maternity service, the Auxiliary Nurse Midwife
(ANM) who lived nearby was called immediately for further care. Within
15 minutes of their arrival, mother and baby were set up for “kangaroo
Although Anita belongs to the Chepang community which
has very low frequency of ante-natal  visits, she had completed all four
check-ups. The baby looked healthy and was a normal weight.
poor and marginalized community has poor hygiene status, and has been
badly affected by the recent great earthquake, so we gave her a Dignity
Kit which included a pure cotton dhoti, sweater, blouse, maxi,
petticoat, shawl, towel, reusable sanitary napkin, flash light and other
personal hygiene materials. With proper advice on the use of the kit,
she was shown how to keep herself and her baby clean to prevent any
infections and diseases. It was a proud moment to see Anita and her
family happy to receive the kit.

Story by Kanchan Shrestha, UMN Programme Manager, Health

Dignity Kits are provided by UNFPA. UMN prioritises pregnant women, new
mothers and women with disabilities for receiving these kits.

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