HealthBridge works with partners world-wide to improve health and health equity through research, policy and action.

Improving Nutrition & Transforming Lives

July 5, 2019 Gender Equality, Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn & Child Health

 

 

Ramchandra lives in a small mud house in Banke District, Nepal with his wife Nankai, a five-year-old son Mangalparsad, and six-month-old daughter Resme. He works as a porter but struggles to make ends-meet to support his family. The family’s economic situation creates barriers to accessing healthcare services, medicines and nutritious foods. 

Nanki was weak and thin during her pregnancy likely due to malnutrition, and Resme was born underweight. After Nankai’s delivery, she did not visit a Health Post for regular postnatal check-ups and faced difficulties breastfeeding her newborn. Nankai began feeding her new baby formula but the baby’s condition worsened.

One day a Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) Facilitator, who works with the local Female Community Health Volunteer visited Nankai’s community and her family. The MNCH Facilitator provided counselling to Nankai and her baby and connected them with the healthcare services they both needed. Nankai was encouraged to attend monthly Mothers’ Group meetings in her village to learn more about proper nutrition for mothers and babies, breastfeeding and complementary feeding, warning signs during pregnancy, and the importance of antenatal and postnatal care. Nankai found comradery with the other mothers and felt comforted that she was connected to this valuable network. She applied what she learned at home with her family, and along with continued care from the local Health Post, she progressively saw improvements in her baby’s health.

Almost a year later, her baby has gained a lot of weight and is happy, healthy and growing. Without the intervention by the MNCH Facilitator, this story may not have ended so happily. Nankai expresses her words of gratitude below.

“After talking with the MNCH staff, my daughter is strong and healthy. I want to express my gratitude to INF and the MNCH staff. Without their counseling, love, care, and support, it cannot be possible.”

MNCH Facilitators in Banke District are a part of a project entitled Strengthening Health Systems and Improving Nutrition in Nepal and Vietnam. HealthBridge Foundation of Canada is implementing the project in partnership with International Nepal Fellowship (INF).

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