Location: Western Rukum District

Project 1: Strengthening Partnerships for Maternal and Child Health

Project 2: Improving Livelihood & Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (Wali, Pilot Project)

Partner: Human Development and Community Services (HDCS)

Western Rukum is a district in rural Nepal, nearly 280km west of Kathmandu, where roughly half of the people live below the poverty line. Life expectancy is only 70.2 years and child mortality rate for children under 5 is 33 deaths per 1,000 live births. Sanitation is also problematic, with more than 20% of households having no toilet facilities.

Project One: Strengthening Partnerships for Maternal and Child Health

Goal of the Project

This project will be a role model for improving the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) situation in the project area, through integrated health promotion and intervention at the facility and community level. It will be working in difficult and remote locations, dealing with highly vulnerable and marginalised communities. The project will help those who are mostly deprived of essential Maternal and Child Health services in their community.

The components of health promotion include extensive health education sessions in the community among mothers’ groups. This improves the awareness and knowledge level of pregnant women and mothers. Awareness will be raised about the fact that early identification of complications in pregnancy can help to prevent maternal and child deaths – as can malaria prevention measures, such as the use of bed nets.

In 16 targeted areas in the Western Rukum district, the goal is:

  • To reduce the maternal mortality rate by 10%,
  • To reduce the infant mortality rate by 7%,
  • To improve the health status of children under five.

Progress Update (from July ’20 until June’21)

  • 30,520 children have been immunised,
  • 22,950 people were served through health facilities which includes Maternal Child Health and Outpatient services,
  • Around 4,700 mothers participated in Mothers Groups, and among them were 52 mothers living with a disability, and approximately 600 were pregnant,
  • 144 Mothers Groups were active in the community,
  • Project could not conduct physical sessions in the month of April, May, June. At that time, Social Mobilisers were connected with Mothers Group members by phone and talked about Hygiene, Sanitation, and information on the COVID vaccine,
  • 4,500 mothers, including pregnant women, were provided with information and demonstration on locally available nutritious foods,
  • 144 Female Community Health Volunteers in 16 communities were trained in Basic Health Care services, birth preparedness, and newborn care package and information management,
  • Project staff provided orientation to the school Health Club members on COVID-19, hygiene and safety measures. Total participants in school health session among 31 schools are 1,240 students (600 female),
  • 48 episodes of radio programs were broadcasted, with major topics covered like COVID-19, nutrition, intuitional delivery, HIV/AIDs, family planning, hygiene and sanitation, antenatal and postnatal check-ups.
To help improve the lives and wellbeing for mothers and children in Nepal, donate today.

Project Two: Improving Livelihoods & Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

Goal of the Project

Opportunities in the Western Rukum district to improve livelihoods are limited, especially for women from marginalised castes, or with a disability, or those who do not have a husband at home. Schools in the district face shortages of toilet and water supply facilities. As a result, girls are unable to attend classes regularly during menstruation.

The project’s objectives are two-pronged:

  1. Increasing the livelihoods of 40 women to provide for their children,
  2. Improving access to water supply and sanitation and hygiene practices for 855 students in three schools.

The project creates opportunities for vulnerable women through agriculture and livestock training and loans to improve their livelihoods. These families are the ones most likely to withdraw their children from school, especially girls, to reduce expenses and to assist with earning income.

  • The project aims to empower 855 students in the three schools to increase awareness of and access to water, good sanitation and hygiene practices, using good practice called 7FATS (Seven Flags Approach of Total Sanitation) so that: Children can practice good hygiene by having washing stations with soap, reducing sickness across the student population,
  • Girls can attend school during menstruation,
  • Children can access safe drinking water during school hours to remain hydrated and able to learn (especially after walking long distances).

Progress Update (from Aug ’20 until June’21)

  • School WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) program was developed in 4 schools,
  • 1,027 students and 41 teachers are involved in WASH,
  • 7 topics covered are: Personal hygiene, Access and use of clean toilet, Menstruation hygiene, Nutrition, Clean drinking water and Clean school environment,
  • Groups are made in these 7 topics and progress is made in most groups (except for Menstruation Hygiene where progress is slow),
  • 4-room toilet was constructed in 2 schools and 2-room toilet was constructed in 2 smaller schools, so that girls have separate toilets and the toilet-to-student ratio has improved,
  • In all 4 schools, 300 litre water tanks, pipes and water purification systems were installed,
  • 16 Mothers Groups with 80 marginalised women, received training on seasonal vegetable growing and improved breeds, shelter and nutrition in livestock, and improved business and financial management,
  • 16 Village Saving and Loan Associations (VLSA) have been formed, so that women can take loans to raise goats and sell vegetables.
To help improve the livelihoods of women and access to water, sanitation and hygiene for students in Nepal, donate today.