As the first country to achieve nationwide scale-up of chlorhexidine for newborn cord care, Nepal has become a “living university” for the world. Its experience provides crucial evidence, lessons learned, and resources for other countries seeking to introduce or scale-up chlorhexidine.
The Nepal experience has generated many lessons that JSI, in partnership with the Nepalese government, have used to provide guidance and technical assistance to governments around the world that are interested in the use of chlorhexidine.
Female Community Health Volunteers in Nepal have a long history of doing an excellent job promoting essential health services in communities cut off from facilities. Because of this history, the role of FCHVs was more crucial than ever after the earthquake devastated the country’s health infrastructure.
At #ICFP, JSI’s Leela Khanal attended an exhibit on women’s health during crisis, which reminded her of the struggles she witnessed among young women in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in her native Nepal.
Use of chlorhexidine for umbilical cord care has been shown to prevent infection. However, JSI’s Leela Khanal explains that implementing chlorhexidine interventions alone may not be enough; communication to providers and mothers can enhance uptake and effectiveness of these interventions to save lives.
In developing countries, many newborns pass away because they are exposed to germs and pathogens that cause infection. In fact, about a quarter of all newborn deaths are due to infections. However, a new medicine called chlorhexidine (CHX) has been proven very effective in preventing infection, also called newborn sepsis. Last week, a group of practitioners gathered in Washington, D.C. to discuss countries’ progress in introducing and scaling up the use of CHX, and the way forward. I was honored to be part of this group.
For more context on the event, read Better Cord Care Saves Babies Lives: Panel Discussion, written by Leela Khanal, Project Director of the Chlorexidine ‘Navi’ Care Program. [View the story “Highlights from #CHX2013” on Storify] [View the story “Highlights from #CHX2013” on Storify]