During the COVID-19 lockdown, PHASE’s health staff are continuing to serve vulnerable, remote communities in Nepal, throughout the health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19. Through our skilled PHASE ANMs who live in the community they serve, PHASE’s goals of reducing maternal mortality, neonatal deaths, and child-birth complications continue. During this unprecedented time, PHASE’s mission to serve and empower the vulnerable with quality healthcare is more important than ever before
Natharpu, Mugu– Here is the story of how PHASE health staff supported B. M., a young woman and new mother suffering from Eclmapsia, and coordinated a quick health response to save her life.
Just 16 years old, B. M., like many girls her age in Mugu, is married and conceiving for the first time, despite being underaged. Her family, like those of most others in the area, is poor and depends on traditional cultivation of crops for daily survival. She lives with her husband and in-laws in ward no. 2 of Soru Rural Municipality, Suhapani, Mugu. After she became aware of her pregnancy, she regularly visited the PHASE supported clinic in Natharpu for antenatal examinations.
On 21 April, 2020, B. M. gave birth to a healthy child at the PHASE clinic in Natharpu. There were no signs of Pre-Eclampsia detected. B.M’s husband and in-laws thanked the PHASE ANMs for their service. The mother was discharged after some hours.
Four days after the delivery, on the 25th April B.M was rushed to the clinic in Natharpu. She was having an intense series of fits and convulsions and raised blood pressure at 150/90mm of Hg, before she suddenly fell unconscious. After assessing the protein levels in her blood (proteinuria), she was diagnosed with a rare, but very serious condition: Eclampsia.
Our health team administered a Magnesium Sulphate Injection as per the guideline, but the young mother’s condition was not improving. There was not much else the PHASE ANMs could do to help her, so they coordinated with the District Authorities for B.M to be evacuated to Surkhet via emergency helicopter the next morning. The process to refer and evacuate her was complicated, as B.M is only 16 years, not legally eligible to marry or give birth. The next morning, she was carried into a helicopter and reached Surkhet, where she was treated in a district hospital with more specialized treatment capacity and resources than PHASE’s primary care facility in Natharpu. B.M recovered quickly.
Without proper primary care in remote settings, like Natharpu, young women like B.M would continue to suffer and perish from treatable birth complications. PHASE is proud to be able to provide key services and coordination for evacuation to young women like B.M and help save their lives.