In late 2013, we started health work in the same five remote, mountainous VDCs in Taplejung. Our Health Needs Assessment study showed that the needs are severe – in one village alone, 12 women (out of a total female population of 363) have died of pregnancy-related problems in the last decade. During our study, while collecting other evidence like the state of health posts and clinics, we asked villagers, community leaders and health workers what they thought important and one of the key findings was that maternal and child health is a key priority.
We work closely with Action for Nepal, the local health implementing charity, who have skills in public health and community participation. Our three-year, locally approved, Health Implementation Plan is underway. Current activities include health education, community-based emergency funds, scholarships for local women to train as midwives and health workers, and the rebuild of a health post with a Birthing Centre – all in line with the priorities as stated by the local people.