Women forced to give birth at home

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The pandemic is bad news for health in Nepal. Already now, several complications are seen among pregnant women and in connection with childbirth. With Chimalaya’s home visit, we save lives and prevent problems for mother and child.

“I was too scared to go to the hospital”. That is often the message, when Chimalaya meets new mothers on home visits. As a result of Covid-19, more women are giving birth at home. According to the government less than half of the births are now taking place in health facilities, compared with about 70 percent before coronavirus lockdowns began in March (source: The New Humanitarian).

Chimalayas doctor, Ram Krishna Chandyo, explains to problem: “Due to lockdown and restrictions, it’s difficult for most women to reach the hospitals or clinics. Also some hospitals require a PCR test (corona test) prior to give even normal birth, and the PCR is not free.” Another problem is, that suddenly hospitals may close if any healthcare providers are diagnosed with COVID.

Ram Krishna Chandyo sees several warning signs: “Decrease in baby activities, bleeding, leaking, fever, difficulty in breathing, early contraction and severe vomiting. There are lots of complications and panic situations for the women during deliveries these days.” One mother recently died a few days after giving birth in the Bode-area, where Chimaya is located. “I also see intrauterine death and neonatal death in my area due to delay in seeking and providing care,” says dr. Ram Krishna Chandyo.

“There are lots of complications and panic situations for the women during deliveries these days.” Dr. Ram Krishna Chandyo, MD, PhD General Manager, Chimalaya Charity, Nepal Associate Professor Community Medicine Department Kathmandu Medical College.

In Chimalaya Charity we do everything we can to reach the pregnant woman and the new mothers. The women used to show up in our clinic, but at the moment – because of the lockdown – our only way to get to them is through home visits. We also tell the women to call us, if they experience problems. Chimalaya’s doctors and nurses are often the only healthcare professionals with whom mothers have contact. We focus on preparing the pregnant women for the birth, and ensuring that the newborns are healthy and well.