Receiving postnatal services at home
Story from Nawalparasi under Health
Postnatal check-ups were rare in two rural municipalities (RMs) of UMN's working areas – Pratappur and Palahinandan of Nawalparasi District, especially in the remote settlements which are far from health facilities.
A mother of two daughters, Sabnam Dewan, 24, is one of the women who received postnatal care (PNC) at her home. She shared, "During my first pregnancy, I hardly completed my four antenatal care (ANC) visits and didn't visit the health facility for postnatal care." Although she had heard about PNC visits, the health facility was far away and difficult to reach, and her family did not deem it necessary, so she also did not prioritise it.
Her younger daughter is four months old now, and this time, she completed her four ANC visits according to the protocol. When the doctors had asked her to come for the follow-up, she was apprehensive about managing it. But, a nurse from a local health area visited Sabnam's house on the third day after birth for a postnatal check-up. "I couldn't believe how it was possible when I first saw a nurse at home. I came to know that the Female Community Health Volunteer from my neighbourhood had informed her. I was so happy when she visited. She did all the health checks, including that of my child. She also provided family education on PNC to my family. I felt blessed that I received such a great health service at my home."
UMN's Integrated Rural Community Health project was planned jointly with the two RMs and initiated the first ever home-based postnatal check-up services in four remote settlements (wards) of these municipalities. Since October 2020 to July 2021, a total of 230 women from four remote villages received home-based PNC check-ups from locally trained health workers. This home-based service, the norm for decades in many western countries, is only now reaching mothers and neonates in this remote part of Nepal.