The Path to Healthcare for All
Our Community Healthcare team brings care closer to the home, especially for patients who are a five day’s walk from our hospital.
“Building systems that save lives.”
Over the past decade, we have invested significant resources in Bayalpata Hospital in Achham and Charikot Hospital in Dolakha. Through this high-touch operation and management, we have had the experience to design the type of facility-to-home integrated care that is necessary to improve health in underserved communities.
See the path yourself. In the video, our patient experiences a complicated delivery. After close care from our community health worker Bhajan Kunwar, she connects the patient to our facility, to access surgical care that is required to save her life.
Investing in public facilities that were poorly functioning, has helped to transform health outcomes — only when facility care happens in coordination with Community Health Workers, who live and work in the surrounding villages—- and act as liaisons between communities, government-operated health posts, and hospitals, and can be champions and advocates when timing is critical.
When a Hospital Isn’t Enough
Why mothers need more than a hospital to bring their babies safely into the world.
“It wasn’t like this when I was born – I was born at home. But there are many difficulties with home births.”
+ Rupa, a new mother
In rural Nepal, pregnancy is referred to as a “gamble with death.”
There was a pregnant woman named Rupa who nearly lost that gamble. She, like so many other women, wanted to give birth in a safe healthcare facility near her home. She herself was born in her home, and her mother warned her of the dangers of home births.
Because of that, when she went into labor, she immediately journeyed to the nearest clinic. Yet, there was only one midwife there, and part way through her delivery, the nurse realized she didn’t feel comfortable proceeding alone because she suspected a complication with the delivery.
Because of that, Rupa called for an ambulance, and Possible’s ambulance driver came to pick up Rupa and bring her to the hospital. This 3-minute video shows what happened next.
Rupa’s story has a happy ending. And for many mothers who are fortunate enough be close to a hospital, that is the case. At Possible’s hospital hub in rural Nepal, the number of births taking place within the facility has grown 197% from 2010 to 2013.
But a hospital isn’t enough. What pregnant women really need, in a region with one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, is access to safe birthing centers closer to their homes and support throughout their pregnancies.
That’s why we approach our work from an integrated healthcare model.
It’s also why the percentage of women delivering in health facilities is one of our six Key Performance Indicators.
We solve for the problems of pregnant mothers like Rupa by having female community health workers provide training and referral support in villages, working with local community governments to transform clinics into safe birthing centers, and linking clinics to a central hospital with ambulances for emergency deliveries.
This model is supported financially through a partnership with the Nepali government’s Safe Motherhood Program, where both pregnant mothers and Possible receive payments for attending prenatal care visits and delivering in a health facility.
It’s a model of safe births that works fully for pregnant women, not partially.
Meet Our Medical Director, Dr. Binod Dangal
Dr. Binod joined our team in 2015 shortly after we expanded our work in Dolakha District when the earthquakes struck Nepal. Hear his inspiring story.
Dr. Binod’s journey is a unique one. At a young age, a British teacher volunteering in his rural village recognized his potential, and sent him to study in Kathmandu. He quickly immersed himself into city life, living with classmates who “didn’t like when someone studied more than they should.”
Having never spoken English until moving to Kathmandu, Binod barely passed his first exams. But he pushed forward and graduated high school with impressive scores, especially in science. He went to China to complete his Bachelors in Medicine, where he finished top of his class.
He conducted his higher-level MD studies in Nepal, and then moved to Dolakha, a three hour jeep ride on bumpy roads from the rural village where he grew up. He jokes that by now he’s probably treated every person here. When he visits his home, patients approach him with their back problems, headaches, and fevers, and he draws out the stethoscope from his coat pocket without hesitation.
When the earthquake struck Nepal, many rural villages in and surrounding Dolakha District were destroyed. His own home turned to rubble, and many of his family members and neighbors passed away. After spending countless, extended shifts to respond to the immediate needs of earthquake victims, he joined our team.