Recent Blog Entries: Guest Blogger
Partners and HealthBridge staff from Bangladesh, India and Nepal gathered in Bangalore, Jan 28-Feb 1, 2017, for the 2nd Livable Cities Meet.
But, what if hospital-based deliveries are associated with lower rates of optimal breastfeeding practices? This is the situation in Son La. Through our needs and baseline assessments we interviewed over 400 women and found that – by some measurements – delivering in a district or provincial hospital was associated with less optimal breastfeeding practices.
Life for pedestrians in Ho Chi Minh City is a little safer now thanks to measures undertaken by the local government, working with HealthBridge Vietnam and World Resource Institute (WRI).
Thousands of people take to these streets playing traditional games, skating and running, meeting neighbours and making new connections.
Cyclists and pedestrians have been literally squeezed out. Crossing the road has become a high risk sport, not for the faint of heart. Do the Vietnamese notice this loss of their own public spaces? I am not sure; climbing out of poverty is probably more pressing.
Ethnic minority women in Vietnam have reported feeling sad and afraid delivering in health facilities without their husbands. A gender-sensitive approach to the promotion of health facility deliveries needs to account for this, which is why HealthBridge is conducting training on the importance of incorporating men into maternal healthcare service delivery.
The other thing that was unsurprising, but resonated with me nonetheless, was that very few women chose to deliver their babies at health facilities. If they did go to a health facility for delivery, it was most likely because they experienced excessive, prolonged pain during labour. Women preferred home delivery for different reasons.
It got me thinking about how challenging it can be to access health services for those who live in a remote location, even without the added element of weather.
It will come as no great surprise that city living presents enormous challenges for encouraging healthy behaviours. Foods that are high in sugar, fat and salt and low in nutrients are seemingly available on every street corner.
Addressing both the supply side (or availability and quality of services) and demand side (the decision and/or ability to access services) is what excites and motivates me about this MNCH project.