February 27 2016

Focus on Maternal Health

For the last four years, Karuna-Shechen has been working in Nepal to fight the stigma and lack of treatment for Uterine Prolapse, also known as Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP).

19 PoPPOP is a painful and sometimes fatal condition caused by repeated pregnancies followed by improper postpartum care and rest. It affects mothers and 25% of women in Nepal, but remains largely  unknown as well as a taboo subject in many rural communities.

Through our screening camps, we help identify women who suffer from POP and help them get treatment. In 2015, we organized 17 camps in which 314 cases were detected and  subsequently treated in hospitals.

Raising awareness is an equally important part of our work. In 2015, for example, we organized 44 street dramas, visited 26 schools and 3816 homes, and  installed 105 information signs.

CFWA Executive DirectorMithilesh Gupata is the Executive Director of CFWA*, our implementing partner in the Danusha district. He explains the effective techniques used in raising awareness of POP in villages.

We recently organized a street drama performance that was attended by five hundred local people, men and women alike. They watched very attentively and actively participated in our question answer session.

Our show consists of conversations, dramatic skits, songs and dances. We use different formats to inform villagers about uterus prolapse and to explain how to prevent it, what treatments are available and where to seek help.

21 PoP

The response to these events is very positive. People tell us they had never heard about the condition before.  We often meet and help women who had been living in constant pain for many years. Our program is changing all that.

Because many of our beneficiaries are too shy to ask questions in public, we also organize home visits with local health workers. There, women are generally more at ease to ask specific questions.

POP awarenessWe are very pleased to note that local mentalities are evolving. Many families are starting to change their behavior, especially regarding the rest and care of pregnant women and new mothers.”

*Community Family Welfare Association (CFWA) gives local communities of the Danusha district access to maternal and child health, immunization and nutritional services. CFWA and Karuna-Shechen work together to organize POP screening camps in villages and to raise awareness about the condition. We also work together to reduce the incidence of malnutrition in the district.