Nepal: The Project’s Future?

The intervention part of the program to create awareness of the need for better health measures to promote better outcomes for pregnant women in isolated and remote villages in Nepal has come to an end. The post intervention data has been collected and it is very pleasing to note that of the 1,656 people who responded to the original data collection, only 50 were not recorded in the post intervention data… they were away from their area at the time. This is an incredible response rate and their responses should give a true indication of the way the program was received by the people. Binod is now back in Newcastle, Australia looking at all his data… and that should be a very interesting read.

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But the other indication of success can be seen on the faces of women visited!

So, it seems, that a very good start has been made in working towards a change in these villages which, over the years, have experienced awful maternal mortality death rates.

But, now that the ‘entertainment’ of the singing and dancing and social interaction of the intense intervention program is over, will the momentum be continued ?

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Binod had prepared for this and, before the end of the program, 1,000 laminated posters were distributed to all of the houses to help the women, and their families,  remember the important steps to follow through the nine months of pregnancy. These are visual in content. They were highly prized and sought after by the families in the villages. Binod has translated them into English for us.

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Months one to four.

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Months five and six

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Month seven.

You may wonder about the comment regarding carrying the woman on a man’s back to get the health post. As there are only tracks, often difficult and slippery, a pregnant woman, especially if not well, would find it difficult to walk down the hills… and up again. You begin to understand the reasons why they often don’t go to the health posts and why more  local health posts are needed.

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Months eight and nine.

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And, if all goes well, a smiling Grandmother with her grandchild.

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And a smiling, healthy mother!

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And a healthy baby.

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So, for the long term hope of better maternal health care, these women need to work together to help each other, and their families; checking the banners that will hang in their houses; reminding each other of the messages in the words of the songs… and, hopefully, the songs will become a part of their village tradition.

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The older women have really embraced these messages, wishing Binod had come earlier when they were of child bearing age… they know only too well the consequences!

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And teachers, mostly men, need to keep reinforcing the messages with their students.

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This intervention is particularly important for the mothers of the future.

These teenage girls are taking intense interest in the messages.

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And so are these young fellows… the fathers of the future.

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Teenagers, like this young man, are the future of these villages.

We hope they remember these health messages and employ them throughout their lives.

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Maybe, by the time these little ones are grown up, the messages of today’s intervention songs will be deeply etched into the culture of their villages and society. Let’s hope so.

And that’s all for our WordPress for the time being. It’s time for us to prepare video presentations to share with others here in Australia and back in Nepal. The goal is to develop this intervention as a model for other isolated communities.

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On behalf of Annie, Roger, Binod and David (photo above), thank you to those who have joined them for the journey to these remote villages in Nepal on their important mission to help abate the maternal mortality rate. If you have enjoyed these armchair travel posts, please pass our site on to others. And for those just joining, there’s plenty to read and enjoy in past posts.

www.dymusings.com

I will add more of David’s Nepal photos to our flickr site as and when I have the time… so pop in there from time to time and enjoy.

More anon when David takes on another travel adventure!

Jennie (on behalf of David and Binod)

                       www.flickr.com/photos/jtdytravels

Binod will be updating his project site from time to time as well:

www.binodbindu.com.np

Our other armchair travel site is

www.jtdytravels.com

Nepal: Video of Day Eight of the Intervention Program

David is safely back in Australia from Nepal… tired but very happy that he was part of such an important program to raise awareness of the need for better maternal health in rural villages. We have just begun to sort his photos and video clips … as well as moving and preparing our old house for the spring sale market! So, because time for writing is a little short at the moment, we thought we’d add a video taken of the intervention group visiting isolated villages and farms to present their important messages in song and dance… even in the pouring rain!

More anon David and Jennie

Video by Binod and the intervention team

www.binodbindu.com.np

Some of David’s Nepal photos and more of our travel photos are on

www.flickr.com/photos/jtdytravels

If you enjoy these armchair travels, please pass our site onto others

www.dymusings.com

more of our travel stories and photos can be found on

  www.jtdytravels.com

 

Nepal: Update on Singing Intervention Program

An update today from David and Binod in Nepal after I was able to speak to them at length on Skype. I still find it amazing to be able to chat with someone so far away from Australia, but what is more amazing is the remoteness of the area they are working in. To give you some idea of that, the children of these villages who are under 12 years of age, have never seen a white person before. It’s really remote and well off any Nepalese tourist track.

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The singing and dancing intervention has now been completed in all the trial villages. The program went exceptionally well and the anecdotal evidence is overwhelming that this has been a successful way of drawing attention to the health problems of women, especially pregnant women in these remote areas. Although the original intent was to have about 6 songs prepared by primary age students in the intervention villages, the interest roused produced twenty-six songs from groups representing all areas of the communities.

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As well as the proposed 6 songs from primary school age student groups, there were 8 songs from adolescent groups, 6 presented by mother’s groups, 2 from teacher’s groups, 3 from combined students and teacher’s groups, and 1 from the  Female Community Health Volunteer’s group. It was impressive to witness so many men joining in with the project and dancing to raise awareness of the importance role women play in the community and the importance of improving maternal health.

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Also… instead of having to hire a special singing group to go around the villages to present all of the songs, the Principal of a local high school and a group of his male teachers offered to give their time to taking on this task… a very healthy sign in a culture where traditionally it would be hard to involve men in such a project. Their voluntary dedication to this project is much appreciated by all.

Now, that the competition is over, its time to go back to the intervention villages to collect follow up data. In the initial baseline data collection, Binod had collected 1,656 responses. These participants will all now be revisited and the same questions asked again.

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That process means that David will accompany Binod on some lengthy hikes between villages… lots of hiking up, lots of hiking down, lots of crossing fast running streams, and lots of leaches… David’s pet hate.

David is enjoying his time with Binod and enjoying getting involved with the locals in these remote villages. His only complaint has been cold showers and squat loos! He has to have something to enjoy when he comes home!

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Both Binod and David commented that they are continually being told by the older women that they wished this intervention had happened when they were younger and of child bearing age. This is important because these older women are the ones who will now support the younger women.

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In this culture, on marriage, a woman leaves her own family and village to spend the rest of her life with her in-laws. So it is very important for the mothers-in-law to really embrace the project. 1,000 posters have been distributed to all the houses to help the women remember the important steps to follow through the nine months of pregnancy. These are visual in content.

The other item for discussion in our chat was what will happen to the equipment that was purchased in Nepal as part of this project; musical instruments, printer, internet modems, etc, etc. All of this equipment will now be distributed to the schools that have so willingly taken part. That’s another bonus. We know they will continue to sing!

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Of course there are many villages who have not had the program of intervention because they are the control group. David and Binod will now visit them also and the same data questions asked again. But they will not be forgotten or left out. David and Binod are planning to make video presentations of both the competition and the processes used to share with the control villages and any other interested villages. This project is the model and we hope to make sure that there is a large ripple effect across the villages of Nepal. The rainbow seems to add a positive note for the a good outcome for all women in these rural villages across Nepal. 

David and Binod send their best wishes to all of our readers

Please pass the websites onto family and friends

Jennie

www.dymusings.com

and

www.binodbindu.com.np

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