Each year in Nepal, there are 630,000 deliveries, many of which take place at home without the support of a skilled birth attendant. Each year in Nepal, 1,500 women die during childbirth and over 13,000 babies die within their first month of life. Many of these deaths happen in the more remote rural areas of the country and One Heart Worldwide is one of the few international organizations partnering with the Nepali government and local NGOs to cover these areas of desperate need.
Since 2010, One Heart Worldwide has successfully shared the Network of Safety with several other organizations around the world. We have provided technical assistance to programs in China, Ecuador, Liberia, Mexico and Peru. Our focus now is to scale our model in Nepal. OHW is currently implementing the Network of Safety across 15 districts, we have transitioned 3 districts to local ownership, and have reached over 147,000 pregnancies in Nepal alone.There are many other underserved districts in Nepal that need help in the area of maternal and neonatal health. We are planning to add three new districts each year in order to take our model to scale and cover all the districts in need.
Pregnancies Reached Per Year
Over the past eight years, OHW successfully pilot-tested the implementation of the Network of Safety in the Baglung (hill area) and Dolpa (mountain area) districts of rural Nepal. Before the start of the OHW programs in Baglung (7,400 pregnancies per year), most women had no pregnancy related contact with modern health services, and the few maternity services that existed were underutilized because they were very low in quality. About 90% of deliveries occurred in a home setting, and maternal and neonatal mortality rates were twice the national average. Today, the rate of deliveries with a skilled birth attendant has more than doubled, and in 2016, no maternal deaths and only 14 neonatal deaths were reported (as compared to 31 maternal deaths and 300 neonatal deaths in 2010). In Dolpa (1,300 pregnancies per year), our original feasibility study reported some of the highest maternal and neonatal mortality rates in the entire world (five times the national average of Nepal). Services and facilities were nonexistent. Today, the rate of deliveries with a skilled birth attendant has tripled and in 2016, only two maternal deaths and nine neonatal deaths were reported (as compared to 15 maternal deaths and 91 newborn deaths in 2011).