In remote western Nepal, where the Himalayas brush the sky, girls spend their childhoods as they have for generations, dreading growing up. Puberty starts a monthly exile. An entrenched, superstitious practice linked to Hinduism, Chaupadi, considers menstruating women impure and bad luck, rendering them untouchables. Menstruating women are banished, often to forests where they sleep … Continued
Relief agencies move out, but the need for maternal and child care is greater than ever in quake-hit areas.
Thousands of newborn babies are at serious risk of illness and neonatal death in Nepal, Save the Children warns, one month on from the earthquake that claimed at least 8,500 lives.
In Nepal, hospital retrofitting, which involves everything from repairing cracks in walls to installing seismic belts and roof bracing, has been a core part of preparedness plans.
Women and girls are among the most vulnerable. UNFPA has rushed the delivery of reproductive health kits, which contain the supplies required to support safe childbirth.
“In times of upheaval or natural disasters, pregnancy-related deaths and gender-based violence soar,” said Priya Marwh, UNFPA ’s humanitarian response coordinator in Asia and the Pacific.
The country of 28 million has only 2.1 physicians and 50 hospital beds for every 10,000 people, according to a 2011 World Health Organization report.
UNICEF is mobilizing staff and emergency supplies to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of children affected by the earthquake, focusing on water and sanitation, nutrition, education and child protection.
Governments could substantially reduce the tragic death toll of infants and mothers by making postnatal care services more accessible – especially to impoverished and poorly educated women in rural areas, according to a study.
According to Adhikari, all ailing newborn babies of up to 28 days will get free treatment from government health facilities throughout the country under the Safe Newborn Program.