Mother and Baby

With the birth of two wonderful little girls in my extended family this week in Ireland I am reminded of the mother and baby ward in Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital in southern Nepal.

It's a boy, 3kg photo by Yvonne Simmonds.
It’s a boy, 3kg. Photo by Yvonne Simmonds © NLT UK

This last week in February there have been 3 births in Lalgadh, two girls and a boy. All going well the mothers will return home with their newborn baby about 5 or 6 hours after birth. The normal birth figures in the hospital are an average of two a month.

This low figure is due to three things:

1. the specialised ward is a new facility within the hospital compound

2. most mothers have their babies at home and continue with normal daily life

3. the hospital is situated in rural Nepal and travelling long distance, at short notice, usually on foot is not ideal during labour.

This trend is slowly changing as a result of the Village Alive Program which includes training of Rural Health Champions (RHC).

The RHC’s are women working on a voluntary basis and have been selected by their respective villages. These women take part in efforts to control diarrhea, vomiting, malnutrition, malaria, and tuberculosis and referral advice when required. Most of them were illiterate, but now function as health volunteers, measuring blood pressure and performing examinations, including examination of pregnant women. They are also able to recognise danger signs and advise to move pregnant women to hospital if necessary.

Limerick and Lalgadh Public Health Partnership

Dr Anne Dee will be returning to Lalgadh, Nepal in March after a break of twenty years. She has obtained funding under the ESTHER* alliance  which is a European organisation which encourages partnership between developed and developing world healthcare facilities.

Under this scheme, the Department of Public Health in Limerick has been funded to set up a partnership with Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital (NLT’s leprosy centre in south-eastern Nepal) . She will travel with the Director of Public Health in Limerick, Dr Mai Mannix, and will spend time in LLSC meeting the workers there, viewing the projects and agreeing the scope of this proposed partnership.

Dr Krishna Lama and Dambar Aley from Lalgadh Hospital will make a return visit to Ireland in May in order to finalise the partnership agreement.

Dr Anne Dee, Specialist in Public Health Medicine, Department of Public Health in Limerick.

ESTHER - Together for a Networked Hospital Therapeutic Solidarity.
ESTHER – Together for a Networked Hospital Therapeutic Solidarity.