Emergency Fund for Safe Deliveries
Story from Bajhang under Health
“Last time, there weren’t any complications on the delivery day; our daughter arrived safe and sound. I was expecting the same this time too,” shares Sabita BK. Born in Bastoli, a remote village in Bajhang District, she married at 15 and had her first child after a year.
During her second pregnancy, after learning in a mothers' group meeting about the importance of antenatal care (ANC) visits, Sabita decided to complete the four visits. She found that the services in the nearby Bhatekhola Health Post had improved a lot since her last delivery. She further shares, “Sister Deepa (an Auxiliary Nursing and Midwife) was very gentle and kind, informing me about the need for iron and deworming tablets, TD vaccine and good nutrition during pregnancy. With her encouragement, I completed my ANC visits on time. When it was time for my delivery, I wasn't worried at all.”
When her first contraction started, her husband managed to take her to the health post. She expected to deliver her child in the next few hours. But she was wrong; the very painful contractions lasted long hours, and she still couldn’t deliver. After more than 16 hours of labour, Deepa told Sabita’s husband that she had to be taken to the district hospital instead. “We didn't have enough money to hire a vehicle or for all the hospital costs. Fortunately, Sister Deepa told us that she could provide NPR 8,000 (USD 67) from an emergency fund available at the health post. We happily accepted this financial help. After a few more hours, I safely delivered my second daughter.”
Now, as she looks back and remembers the incident, she feels so grateful to Sister Deepa for helping them out at their time of need. “I feel like I have got a new life,” shares Sabita.
Realising the need for funds during obstetric and child health emergencies, UMN with its local partner PYS established this fund in five health facilities. It is able to give timely help in emergencies and save many lives like Sabita’s.