The level of development in our supported community is, overall, extremely low. The fact that none of the schools had latrines or even clean water prior to our arrival indicates a lack of awareness for any kind of hygiene. Kumbu has a so-called Sub-Health Post (SHP), which was rarely operational and of little significance to the public. On top of that, the building was destroyed several years ago, so the station temporarily had to be moved to another room.
In 2001, a
Nepalese social worker had conducted a survey among women, who stated that a
better service in the health station and especially the possibility to give
birth to their children in better hygienic conditions had the topmost priority
for them. This was the beginning for many further considerations, which
ultimately resulted in our supporting the community to rebuild the health
station, however at a scale which - in the interest of the women - surpassed
the normal standard for SHPs by far.
assemblies in the Wards, the Social Worker Anshu tries to find out their
expectations and priorities
During preparations, there were some dissensions over various details, which slowed down the process. However, during a visit in 2004, we were able to discuss all major points with the different partners and come to a mutual agreement. Construction began end of 2004, and the new station was commissioned in November 2006. It was designed in such a way that apart from the four rooms required by the national standard, it held the following extras:
The finished health
station with toilet, auxiliary water tank and waste incineration facility
Since births are not
included in the functions of a SHP, the state doesn´t provide skilled birth attendants as personnel.. So while the health station was under construction,
we have provided the study for a nurse (Yashoda Basnet) who can also help in obstetrics.
Her salary is paid by us in full.
financial support, the station has remained part of the national health care
system, so that the regular running costs (for standard personnel, minimum
provision with medication) are paid by the state. We cover all the costs that
exceed the basic standard expenses.
Furthermore, we have transformed the room which was used as a meeting room into an inpatient ward, so pregnant women can arrive at the station earlier before their delivery and stay there until the day after. A possible replacement for the meeting room might be foreseen in a community centre, in case the respective planning should be realized..
The health committee that is in charge of the health post had further suggested an extension of the building, in which one of the nurses on duty could live, and where the relatives of the expectant mothers could stay and prepare meals for the patients. In the meantime the building is finished and the interior furnishing will be done in first half of 2014.
As the health post's supply of medication from the state is utterly insufficient, we have agreed to establish a revolving drug fund, which we have endowed with a basic amount of money. With this fund, the missing medication can be purchased and even be bought by the patients, should they be able to pay for them. Into the fund go also the gains of the station from the premium the state pays for each birth, as well as the - albeit low - medical fees paid by the patients.