POST-NATAL SCREENING PROGRAMME
Through the development of the surgical teaching programme HPN found that there is a lack of wider surgical screening for common surgical conditions. In addition, Nepal does not have an established post-natal programme, to check the well-being of neonates and new mothers after delivery.
Childbirth and the weeks after are a pivotal time for Mother and Child across the globe. In the UK, new mothers are given the opportunity to attend their local GP for a '6 to 8 week check'. During this appointment, a GP can examine both the new infant and their mother, provide support and address any queries they may have. It also facilitates screening for certain neonatal conditions that can cause complications in later life - such as heart defects, or eye, hip, and genital problems. Babies can then attend their first immunisations, which are commonly given after the initial baby check.
As this is not currently in place in Nepal, mothers and children in rural areas struggle to access healthcare easily - during a time of many potential anxieties and health issues both for the new infant and mother.
A SOLUTION: IMPLEMENTATION OF POST-NATAL SCREENING PROGRAMME
HPN is planning to help local teams implement a new 6-8 week check for mothers and children in rural clinics, based on the UK service delivery model in line with NICE guidance.
We are hosting a 2-day teaching programme for existing nurses and community health volunteers to learn the skills required in a 6-8 week check for infants, and how to screen mothers for any extra help or support postpartum. These checks can be performed in appointments prior to infants receiving their 1st immunisations at 8 weeks.
This postnatal check can also pick up issues with undescended testes in boys, which can then be appropriately managed by our HPN surgical team - thus linking into our existing surgical programme. It also provides women the opportunity to receive Freedom Kits - reusable, recyclable, material sanitary pads and underwear to help with postnatal menstrual bleeding and disorders.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
This programme aims to be sustainable, and in line with current current HPN organisational goals, whilst ensuring equitable access to postnatal care for both mother and child in Nepal. Look out for updates as we make the first steps towards postnatal screening in Nepal!