Our Model

Achieving skilled attendance at every birth has emerged as a global priority, and more and more women are now delivering in healthcare facilities. However, the challenge to ensure every woman has access to a safe delivery remains, and is particularly acute in remote, rural areas around the world.

The OHW “Network of Safety" model is uniquely positioned to overcome this gap. With our model, we are able to address the barriers that limit access to quality maternal and neonatal healthcare services at all levels of the existing local healthcare infrastructure. Our community-based programs build a network of properly equipped and staffed health facilities and train local healthcare providers to ensure quality maternal and newborn health care. The Network of Safety is based on the integration of local resources and a respect for cultural norms and practices. One Heart Worldwide does not believe in establishing a parallel system but instead strives to strengthen existing governmental healthcare systems and local capacity. As a result, our model strives to align itself with local governmental priorities and policies, and is endorsed at the national, regional, and local level.

Our holistic approach is simple, effective, replicable, and sustainable. We improve access to healthcare services, ensuring the wellbeing of the most vulnerable pregnant women and newborns who may otherwise lack access to medical or public healthcare services. We develop solutions with local communities, providing them with the tools to become the drivers of innovation and systemic change and to be accountable for long-term progress and sustainability in their own communities.

the network of safety's six essential elements

At the center of our model is the expectant mother and her newborn infant. They are the reason we are so passionately committed to the work we do. To best support them, our programs strive to strengthen each component in their local network.

We teach families how to support healthy pregnancies and prepare themselves for the birth by seeking appropriate services from a skilled birth attendant at a certified health facility. We also teach them to recognize danger signs during pregnancy and how to respond appropriately.
We sponsor medical providers from remote areas to receive advanced training in obstetrics and immediate neonatal care and become skilled birth attendants. The trainings include instruction on comprehensive antenatal care, and recognizing and managing pregnancy danger signs and complications. The SBAs are employed in government-certified birthing centers after completion of the courses.
OHW integrates and empowers local stakeholders to become the drivers of change. Through community engagement activities, focus groups, and direct collaboration with local community leaders, we integrate community stakeholders at the grassroots level to design, implement, and sustain the program.
Our program creates a network of functioning birthing centers and assists with the provision of necessary medical equipment, infrastructure, and specialized training for health care providers. We upgrade existing government healthcare facilities, both first level of care facilities (health posts) and district hospitals so that they have the necessary tools and capacity to provide appropriate obstetrical services.
We train local community-based volunteers and health care providers to reach out to pregnant women and their families to enroll pregnant women in prenatal care and refer them to the SBAs at the nearest certified birthing center. Additionally we train them to recognize and respond appropriately to danger signs in pregnancy.
We work in direct partnership with the government of Nepal at the Federal and Provincial levels, as well as with the local governments in each of the Palikas (municipalities) we serve. Our programs are designed to support the implementation of the governmental maternal and neonatal health programs by strengthening healthcare infrastructure and increasing access to a skilled provider. They are developed in conjunction with the various levels of the government and specifically aligned with local maternal and newborn health priorities.

Implementation of the Network of Safety

The overall plan of action to implement the Network of Safety includes: 1 year of program set-up (phase 1), 3 years of full program implementation (phase 2), followed by 2 years of support and transition to the local government (phase 3). During these 6 years, OHW creates a self-sustaining Network of Safety for women and newborns, from the community to the referral hospital, and from pregnancy to the postnatal period. In collaboration with local government officials and community stakeholders, we build local capacity, expand the outreach of existing healthcare infrastructure, and improve government-supported health services. We provide health education to communities and health providers and integrate information technology into medical service provision. After the programs are fully implemented, they are transitioned to the local government.