8 March 2018
8th March was International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. We take the opportunity to celebrate projects that make a difference, notably to local communities and women living in rural villages in Nepal.
Cara Buchan, Senior Architect based in our Edinburgh office has been working on a project which sees WYG supporting Community Action Nepal (CAN) following the 2015 earthquakes. She specialises in blast resistant and seismic design so has been able to use her expertise contributing towards the safe rebuilding of health posts, schools and porter shelters located in remote villages of the Himalayas in Nepal. Here’s she recalls on her experiences from a recent visit.
CAN has built, and operates, 24 health posts throughout Nepal, many of which were badly damaged or destroyed during the earthquake. In such remote locations, CAN’s health posts provide medical care in villages where people would otherwise have to walk days to receive treatment or medications. The care provided by CAN’s dedicated staff of nurses, many of whom live in the health post isolated from their families, is therefore critical to the health and wellbeing of the women in these villages.
Each health post is equipped with a birthing room so women can deliver their babies in a safe environment. These facilities encourage women to deliver under the supervision of medical professionals, which is contributing to lowering the maternal mortality rate of Nepal. The nurses also provide family planning advice and training on first aid, personal hygiene and sanitation to mother’s groups and schools, recognising that the women of the villages are influential to improving the hygiene practices of the entire village.
The reconstruction programme was therefore critical to re-establishing health care in villages devastated by the earthquake. The health posts provide a safe, secure and comfortable home from which nurses can deliver excellent health care to the communities. WYG has been proud to support CAN in their efforts to improve the health and well-being of the women and young girls of Nepal.