Microfinance and Reproductive Health Education-A pilot study for integrated approach of maternal and newborn health in Mountain and Hills
Nepal has been for years one of the few countries in the world where women's life expectancy is lower than that of men's. There is a high maternal mortality ratio with only 20% of birth attended at health institutions. Similarly, newborn mortality accounts for 60% of the child mortality. Neonatal mortality rates are unacceptably high due in part to lack of community awareness on appropriate newborn care. In addition to this, access to finance is another major constraint to utilization of available health facilities by the poor. In this context, a 3-year project 'Microfinance and Reproductive Health Education- A pilot study for integrated approach of maternal and newborn health in Mountain and Hills' has been implemented in Sindhupalchok District since May 2007. Four Institutions are involved in the project: Medecins du Monde, Nepal (MDM Nepal), representative of MDM France, provides financial and health related technical support. CMF provides microfinance related technical support. District Health Office Sindhupalchok of the Nepal Government coordinates at the district level, and Social Development and Environmental Conservation Forum (CDECF), a local NGO in the district, implements the program. Currently, it has covered Nine Village Development Committees (VDCs) namely Bhimtar, Sipapokhare, Bandegaun, Melamchi, Chautara, Pangretar, Thulopakhar, Ramche and Tatopani. The program targets women of reproductive age. There are 2927 members, one from each household, organized into small groups of five members since February 2008. They are participating in Reproductive Health awareness classes and Microfinance activities. Similarly, Staff Nurses are providing support to primary health center workers and basic tools needed for maternal and newborn care are provided to each of the government owned health institutions in the areas.
Reduce maternal and newborn mortality rates in Sindhupalchok district.
Major objectives of the Project are to:
3.1 Improve the availability, access and quality of maternal and newborn care and emergency obstetric and newborn care;
3.2 Increase access and utilization of microfinance services;
4. Expected Results
Access to fund and health services will effectively reduce maternal and newborn mortality and improve their health in the program VDCs of Sindhupalchok district.
- Sustainable network for combined reproductive health education and microfinance services created
- Enhanced community awareness on birth preparedness
- Improved quality of maternal and newborn care services.
- Increased utilization of maternal and newborn care services
- Increased microfinance assess to the communities
- Increased availability of emergency obstetric and newborn care services
- Obstetric emergency funds available and managed by communities
5. Project Funding Partners: MDM France and CMF