Pushpa Basnet, NepalPushpa is one of 16 health workers (Auxiliary Nurse Midwives) employed by PHASE Nepal, who work in very remote and hard to reach communities in the hills of Nepal, where no other functioning health services are available. They fulfill the roles of doctor, dentist, nurse, midwife and health visitor and work under very difficult circumstances, saving lives every single day. Whilst working in Humla district, the remotest area of Nepal, Pushpa was instrumental in thinking up and implementing an incentive strategy to stop the practice of banishing new mothers and their babies to live in the cow shed, they did this by offering families incentives like new clothes for mothers and babies in return if they could guarantee that they would be given a safe space to live. Since she started work there women in are finally given a safe and clean space to have the baby and recover from childbirth.
The photo shows Pushpa on a postnatal visit to a young mother with her first baby. The baby had been delivered the night before without assistance, as the family didn't feel it was necessary to call the health worker out. The baby is low birth weight, but otherwise healthy, and Pushpa was dispensing Vitamin A, Iron, Painkillers and health advice so the mother can adequately look after the baby through its first days.
Story submitted by Dr. Gerda Pohl, PHASE Worldwide http://www.phaseworldwide.org
Superhero Health Workers This story is one of many submitted by members of the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood ® (WRA) to celebrate health workers. Health workers save the lives of women and children every day, despite often facing difficult working conditions and inadequate resources. Health workers are vital for progress on global health and development and for ensuring the Millennium Development Goals are met. Yet, the world is short of more than 3.5 million health workers, including 1 million community health workers and 350,000 midwives.