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The Mangala Devi Birth Centre, Tribhuvan Teaching Hospital, Nepal

Joy Kemp, Global Professional Advisor for the RCM
21 May, 2015

The Mangala Devi Birth Centre, Tribhuvan Teaching Hospital, Nepal

The Mangala Devi Birth Centre is a midwife-led Birth Centre at Tribhuvan Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal. During the Global Midwifery Twinning Project (GMTP), following a request from the Ministry of Health and Population, a series of GMTP midwife volunteers were placed at the Tribhuvan Teaching Hospital to establish the birth centre. 

Nepali Mum doing Kangaroo care

The birth centre opened in June 2014, and the government is keen to see that this model birth centre informs the wider health system in Nepal. The GMTP volunteer midwives provided clinical and technical support to the birth centre; and played a role in introducing and assisting with the implementation of evidence-based, essential, environment specific interventions. Sarah Gregson visited Nepal as a GMTP midwife volunteer in December 2014. On her first visit she wrote:
 “It was extremely encouraging to hear the staff speak so passionately about the Centre and to hear that they wanted to become ‘a centre of excellence for the Birth centre model of care in Nepal’. They were extremely proud of their birthing environment which was developed in partnership with previous volunteers. It certainly provides a major contrast to the extremely medicalised environment in the hospital and it is clear that the nurse midwives have embraced major changes to their practice as a result of the GMTP. They were particularly keen to tell me about ‘respectful midwifery care’ – meaning they are advocates for the provision of privacy and dignity for women in labour.” 
First baby born at the birth centre at Tribuhavan HospitalSarah worked alongside the birth centre nurse-midwives the help them develop strategies to increase the number of births at the birth centre, to support the development of advocacy materials for the birth centre, to help develop audit tools to demonstrate safety and good practice, and to support development of good multidisciplinary relationships to strengthen partnership working across maternity service. Sarah returned to Nepal with her husband Steve in March 2015 and wrote this blog about her visit to the birth centre: 
“Following our amazing trek we had one day spare for visiting the birth centre in Kathmandu where I worked for 3 weeks just before Christmas as part of the Royal College of Midwives Global  Twinning project. I was particularly keen to see if there had been any developments and also for Steve to meet everyone, although was not sure whether this would  be possible as the date for the visit had been changed so many times due to the initial delays  with our travel.
I need not have worried- they were all there! It was great to see Kiran again and just wonderful to go over to the birth centre and see Kalpana, Parvati and Beena so keen to tell me how well the birth centre is doing. There were 30 births in the first 6 months, but another 30 in the past 3 months which is great news. There was also a woman in labour whilst we visited who spoke good English. She asked me to express her thanks to all the UK volunteers for helping to create such a lovely relaxing place to give birth.
I was so pleased to see the posters and information leaflets that we had created together being used so well and also to hear that they are finding the satisfaction survey so useful to be able to 'sell' the idea of the birth centre. Word about the birth centre has definitely spread and the nurse midwives have definitely realised the power of getting good publicity! They are collecting their statistics and also planning a celebration for the 100th birth including inviting the press! I also suggested that they invite a few of the mothers and babies so they could talk to the press about their experiences. In all we had a wonderful time and will of course stay in touch with each other.”
Nepal Birth Centre
Following the recent earthquakes in Nepal, we are pleased to have heard that the birthing centre escaped damage and is being fully utilised in providing care for women and babies from the Kathmandu valley.  The RCM is raising money to help ensure that all women in Nepal can have access to midwifery care now and for the longer term. For details of our appeal, and to donate, click here http://campaign.justgiving.com/charity/midwives-trust/nepal Joy Kemp, the RCM’s Global Professional Advisor, regularly blogs about our global blog here:  https://www.rcm.org.uk/gmtp/global-blog  



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Amazing project. How do I put my name down to volunteer for next project.