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Aurelie Machefaux | Nepal

Pooja lives in one of the slums of Kathmandu. She did not perform prenatal examination.

In Nepal, the COVID-19 crisis makes access to maternal health services very difficult, especially for vulnerable group living in slums. By the fear of being infected by the virus in the hospital, but also because medical authorities discourage checkups. Ninety percent of women don't have pre-natal checkups, which represents 50% lower than before the pandemic. 258 women died as a result of pregnancy or childbirth between March 2020 and June 2021, compared to the year before when there was 51 maternal deaths. In Kathmandu, it’s very difficult to find a public maternity ward that accepts women without having performed prenatal check-up or without presenting a PCR test, it takes several hours to get the report. Private hospitals are unaffordable for them, childbirth can cost up to 50000 rupees (approximately 350€).

Midwifery volunteers try to counteract the increase in mortality by performing post-natal check-up in slums. Neonatal deaths have increased from 13 to 40 lives per 1000.

 

Freelance documentary photographer

Rainbow volunteer club, Kathmandu

Chamina Charity, Kathmandu

aurelie.machefaux@gmail.com

+33610107363

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