Sunday, 26 June 2011

Maternal and Newborns Health in Nepal

According to the 2006 Nepal Demographic Health Survey, 281 women per 100,000 live births die of complications during childbirth, and 33 newborns die per 1,000 live births; two-thirds of neonatal deaths occur in the first week of life. This means that a newborn baby dies every twenty minutes (3 newborns are dying every hour) and every four hours a woman dies of childbirth related causes. Most of these deaths occur in rural areas and can be prevented easily if skilled health workers are mobilised effectively backing up with simple locally available resources.

Professor Mahmoud Fathalla from Federation of International Gynaecologist and Obstetrician quote "Women are not dying because of diseases we cannot treat... they are dying because societies have yet to make the decision that their lives are worth saving" is very true in the context of Nepal. I'm saying this because though in the National Policy on Skilled Birth Attendants 2006 in the long-term (Pre-service) measure it has explicitly mentioned that the Government of Nepal has acknowledged the need of producing a new cadre of professional midwife as a crucial human resource for safe motherhood, providing service and leadership in midwifery for the country but still this has not yet been operationalise. We only have 5 more years to achieve the set targets of the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals 4, reducing child deaths and 5, improving maternal health and still majority, 81% Nepalese women are giving birth at home without the assistance of skilled health workers.

If you watch the video "Birth in Nepal" filmed by 5-months pregnant lady, Sabina Shrestha who went to find out why so many women and babies are dying in Nepal gives you clear picture of Nepali women and their childbirth practices and reason for newborns and mothers dying due to childbirths and pregnancies related cause. Here is the link

Contributed in Nepal Development Forum dated June 18, 2011.


  1. This video is a gripping, 24 minute, "must watch" documentary for anyone concerned about maternal and infant health issues!

  2. It is if professionals really want to improve women and child's health status in the country where culture factors play major role.

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