Reproductive Health on the Move


When the earthquake struck Nepal on April 25, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, immediately reached out to the Ministry of Health and Population as well as partners like ADRA, FPAN and CARE to provide life-saving reproductive health services to women and girls of reproductive age affected by the natural disaster. This is part of the "Dignity First" campaign launched by the Government and the UN Population Fund, which encompasses UNFPA's lifesaving interventions and ways to restore the dignity of earthquake-affected women into a movement.

An earthquake survivor woman undergoes a health check-up at the RH camp. PHOTO: UNFPA NEPALGiven the extent of the health facilities damaged or destroyed, partners  agreed that a key intervention would be to carry our emergency reproductive health (RH) mobile camps, as a way to provide critical  sexual and reproductive health services (SRH) along with information and services on gender based violence (GBV) targeting primarily women and girls of reproductive age living in remote areas.

Mobile RH camps a concept not new to Nepal especially during the  conflict period - are equipped with male and female doctors, skilled  birth attendants, youth health educators, health assistants and Auxiliary  Health Workers carrying out lab services (including for STI/HIV  services) and psycho-social counselors, youth coordinators and youth  volunteers. The emergency RH camps provide antenatal, delivery and,  postpartum services including Basic Emergency Obstetric and Newborn  Care and family planning.

They also include general health check-ups, a separate adolescent friendly corner with messages, information and services specific for that age group, health education, psychosocial counseling, lab facilities referral services as well as free of cost drug distribution. UNFPA was able to start RH camps in the earthquake-affected districts from 30 April through FPAN, with an average of 1-2 camps carried out almost daily. Another such mobile camp was carried out by ADRA from 22-24 May in Dhunkharka VDC, Kavre district. A total of 592 patients received medical advice, treatment, and overall education on RH and basic hygiene in Dhunkharka.