- About Us
- Our Work
- Work With MSF
- Public Events
- Press Room
MSF in Nepal, 2009
Field Staff: 101
Reason for Intervention:
All articles on Nepal »
MSF has worked in Nepal since 2002. Teams provide healthcare to people still affected by the conflict between government forces and the Communist Party of Nepal which lasted from 1996 until 2006, and by the resurgence of violence that accompanied a chaotic peace process. MSF worked where help was most needed, including in basic healthcare, reproductive healthcare and water and sanitation provision.
Despite Nepal’s struggles with political stability after the peace process, MSF is now leaving the country as government agencies and developmental organizations start to take a longer-term approach to covering the people’s health needs. Capacity-building and training on the job are consequently key objectives in the remaining MSF projects.
Teams worked to increase knowledge about reproductive health and called for better access to good-quality public health services. Through a number of national radio announcements and education at local level, MSF also addressed the issue of oxytocin misuse. The drug, used to stimulate contractions in pregnant women, is widely misused. This can result in fetal and neonatal deaths, and to ruptures of the uterus. The drug can be used safely in small doses if the baby is overdue, but in Nepal it is common to take high doses to try to induce a birth prematurely, especially to make the birth take place on a religiously significant date.
In May, MSF handed over programs in the isolated mountainous Kalikot district. Up until then MSF had offered basic and secondary healthcare, tuberculosis treatment, and emergency services with a special focus on healthcare for pregnant women and children under five. In 2009, MSF carried out more than 10,000 consultations and assisted with 192 deliveries.
In December, MSF handed over its last remaining program in the Terai region of Nepal, which provided free medical services, emergency consultations, maternal healthcare, and treatment of acutely malnourished children. In the areas affected by internal unrest MSF used mobile clinics in the most neglected areas and transferred patients needing more care to its facility at Gaur District Hospital. MSF carried out more than 10,000 consultations and assisted more than 1,300 deliveries. In the areas where it worked, MSF leaves behind an improved level of care for mothers and newborns, and better trained staff.
Since 2002, MSF has provided more than 30,000 consultations, antenatal care to 6,000 women and treated around 2,000 malnourished children.
Ranjana, 23 years old, was brought into Gaur District Hospital in the Rautahat district by her husband. She was about to deliver her first baby and was experiencing complications. On examination, MSF doctors discovered that her uterus had ruptured. Doctors realized that Ranjana had taken oxytocin, a drug available over the counter that is used to stimulate uterine contractions. Ranjana and her baby survived, but she lost so much blood that she needed to have a blood transfusion and her uterus had to be removed.
MSF has worked in Nepal since 2002.