The availability and readiness of emergency obstetric care in birthing centres in rural Nepal

21 December, 2019

Dear HIFA Moderator,

A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2018 in all 16 public health facilities providing delivery services in Taplejung District of eastern Nepal. The purpose of this health system’s study was to assess the availability of Emergency Obstetric Care (EmOC) services in birthing centres in the district. Data collection comprised: (1) quantitative data collected from health workers; (2) observation of key items; and (3) record data extracted from the health facility register. Descriptive statistics were used to calculate readiness scores using unweighted averages.

Although key health personnel were available, EmOC services at the health facilities assessed were below the minimum coverage level recommended by the World Health Organisation. Only the district hospital provided the nine signal functions of Comprehensive EmOC. The other fifteen had only partially functioning Basic EmOC facilities, as they did not provide all of the seven signal functions. The essential equipment for performing certain EmOC functions was either missing or not functional in these health facilities.

The Ministry of Health and Population and the federal government need to ensure that the full range of signal functions are available for safe deliveries in partially functioning EmOC health facilities by addressing the issues related to training, equipment, medicine, commodities and policy.

Full link of the article: [restricted access]

Thank you.

Amrit Banstola

*HIFA Country Representative for Nepal*

HIFA profile: Amrit Banstola is currently working as a Program Officer at Nyaya Health in the rural far western region of Nepal is also a founder and editor in-chief of Public Health Perspective Nepal (first public health online newsletter of Nepal). He is a young public health graduate, researcher and climate change health activist of Nepal. Banstola whose research interest includes child health and climate change is actively working to protect public health from climate change impacts as an emerging priority. Banstola is also a column writer of Climate Himalaya (India), Action leader of NCD Action Network and was a lecturer at Kantipur College of Medical Science (KCMS) (2012-2013). He loves to capture videos and photographs that represent climate change and child health issues. He is a HIFA country representative for Nepal. amritbanstola AT