When we first began working in Humla, we found the community had serious gaps in health service access. Many people had gone their whole lives without ever seeing a doctor. We saw there was a clear need for health programmes to support these isolated communities.
Today, we are proud that communities in our target areas have access to year-round healthcare thanks to our partnerships with local government health posts and a Tibetan Medicine practitioner. As part of this work, we strengthen the health system; ensure access to quality healthcare; and prevent health complications through improvements in water, sanitation and hygiene. We also support nutrition through greenhouses.
We are now moving into our next phase of health programming in Humla. With more than 25 years’ experience in Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) in Uganda, we are taking this expertise to Humla to improve maternal and newborn outcomes.
In July 2022, we were excited to work with the local government to open an Adara-supported birthing centre in Chauganfaya, Humla.
The birthing centre was an extension to an existing health post. We renovated and furnished it, and equipped it with a range of medical supplies and medicines. We have also provided extra human resources to the facility, including a trained nurse and a midwife. This work is already impacting many women in Humla – women like Dolma.
Twenty-two-year Dolma lives in Chauganfaya in Humla. She is a mother to three children, the youngest only a few months old.
In previous years, there hadn’t been a birthing centre in Dolma’s village, so her first two children had been born at home.
“Previously, we had to walk four hours to get to the nearest birthing centre and spend several days,” Dolma says. “It’s difficult to walk, manage food and everything is expensive. Sometimes we have to return back when the midwife was not there or the centre was out of medicines. So, we deliver in our own homes.”
When Dolma learnt that a new Adara supported birthing centre had opened in her village, she was relieved to know she could safely welcome her thirdborn safely into the world.
“I delivered two of my babies in my home and it was a very painful experience, I risked my life. ” she says.
“I felt safe and it was much easier this time delivering at the newly set-up birthing centre with a trained nurse.”Dolma
When it came time for Dolma to give birth to her third child, she knew to attend the birthing centre. There, she welcomed the newest addition to her family: a happy and healthy baby girl. Dolma is grateful for the support she received from the health workers to give birth safely, and for the quality care she and her baby received.
Since its opening to the end of 2022, the centre welcomed six babies into the world.
Now that we have supported the opening of a birthing centre in Chauganfaya, we plan to continue supporting this centre to improve quality of care. We will also support a second birthing centre in Syada.
To help the development of these birthing centres and raise awareness in the community, we will
extend MNCH services into the surrounding communities. In 2023, have started by training seven female
community health workers (CHWs) in MNCH, adapting the training from the Hospital to Home programme we have implemented successfully in Uganda. We will designate one CHW as a group leader who will call
monthly meetings, provide guidance, collect reports from others and report them to the nurse at the birthing centre.
We will also support CHWs to follow-up the pregnant women in their respective villages, educating them on topics such as antenatal care, delivery at the birthing centre, vaccinations, family planning, and breastfeeding and nutrition support. We will also train CHWs to conduct assessments of newborns – with a focus on monitoring growth and identifying dangers signs – and to report any complications to the
Read more about the change you helped create in our 2022 Operations Report.