The women and families of Chitral, Pakistan, have a champion in Lady Health Worker Deedar Nawaz. While working as a public health officer for a Jhpiego-supported maternal health project, Deedar helped establish an effective delivery and referral system for pregnant women in her remote community. Through her efforts, health providers at other facilities in the area have worked hard to improve the quality of care and strengthen services for mothers and newborns. Deedar is a model for other health care providers. Consider her efforts to help a 32-year-old mother give birth at a facility in a remote area of northern Pakistan. The woman arrived at the health facility in labor and bleeding. Deedar checked for a fetal heart beat; the unborn baby was in distress.
“I had to make a quick decision—take a risk and deliver her at the facility or put the mother more at risk by referring her to the hospital, a three-hour drive on a bumpy road,” Deedar explained.
Deedar decided to deliver the baby in the health center, despite her limited resources. She gave the woman oxygen and had her lie on her left side. She quickly briefed the family on the conditions of mother and baby, and the need to deliver the baby at the center. The woman began pushing and soon gave birth to a son. The baby had a weak cry, but with the proper immediate newborn care, the infant survived and was quickly referred to the district hospital for further care.
“I was so happy that day that I made the right decision at the right time. It was the matter of saving two lives!”
Fransisca King’oo is dedicated to ensuring that the people of Kathonzweni, Kenya, are healthy and able to reach their potential. As District Nutrition Officer, Fransisca alerted public health officials when she identified maize that was no longer safe to eat. The bad maize was then removed, helping to ensure residents were no longer at risk. Fransisca is also educating schoolteachers how to recognize the signs of malnutrition in their students. Her work doesn’t stop there—Fransisca strengthens the capacity of area health workers by educating them on best practices in monitoring growth and nutrition; coaches mothers on how to properly breastfeed; conducts site visits on foot throughout the district to deliver health care equipment; and works to integrate nutrition with maternal and family health services. Fransisca’s tireless efforts are helping Kathonzweni grow into a healthy community.
In Acaraymi, an indigenous area in Alto Parana, Paraguay, Paola Aguero manages a health post with her colleague Leticia Alonso. Known to her community as Dra. Paola (Dra. is feminine for doctor in Spanish), this frontline health worker provides primary care at the health post in partnership with the Ministry of Health, and conducts home visits in the surrounding area. Supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP), Dra. Paola is carrying out an action plan, which she helped develop, to address the maternal and child health issues affecting Acaraymi.
Professor Pennemma Ranadive is putting her school of nursing on the map. As principal of the College of Nursing, St. Stephens College Hospital in New Delhi, India, she has been a leader in strengthening the curriculum and clinical skills of budding nurses and midwives—putting her school in the forefront of educational advancements. With technical assistance from Jhpiego, Pennemma established a high standard of teaching at the nursing college, providing students with an up-to-date curriculum and a collaborative learning environment where they can learn effectively.