We initiated our “1000 Lives for Kashmir” project in 2016, with the aim of reducing infant and maternal mortality in remote parts of Kashmir, and to improve the delivery of health services to the local population.
Since than Kashmir Fund DK (KFDK) has extensively focused on reducing infant and maternal mortality in remote parts of Kashmir. The health sector in these areas can be limited and extremely overburdened. Making it difficult for the local population, to receive adequate prenatal and postnatal care.
Traditional birth attendants play a considerable role in providing delivery services to pregnant women in these areas. But they lack a formal training and medical understanding, which can be a risk factor in terms of handling deliveries. For these reasons, KFDK has focused on increasing the reach of Community Midwives (CMW), who have a formal education and practical training.
This is done by supporting the establishment of Mother and Child Health Care Centre’s in remote villages. In these centres a CMW is available to assist with childbirths and has access to necessary equipment such as delivery table, examination table, stethoscope, blood pressure monitor, medicines, etc. to provide basic health care services. We are also providing these CMW’s specialized training, to improve their competencies when forced to deal with complicated deliveries.
Studies have shown that there is great need for more Mother and Child Health Care Centres in Kashmir. Our aim is to reduce mortality among children and pregnant women during pregnancy and childbirth. This can be achieved by offering local qualified health care in these remote villages. The need for basic birth handling facilities is huge and Kashmir Fund DK and our partners are helping local authorities in establishing a 24/7 Community Midwife (CMW) service in remote villages.
KFDK established our first health care centre in 2015 with the opening of a Mother and Child Health Care Centre in the village of Soli Khas, UC Kalamoola, Tehsil & District Haveli Kahutta, Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK).
We evaluated incoming requests and information from local authorities, and decided to expand in Districts Neelum and Haveli, as both of these districts are very remote and on the Line of Control (LOC), which has severely increased the hardships faced by the local population. In the period from 2018 – 2020, we have managed to give the district of Neelum full coverage, by establishing 17 Health Care Centres, providing the population a facility within walking distance.
MNCH Department of Azad Jammu & Kashmir and DHO office Neelum, Haveli and Muzaffarabad have allocated trained midwives to handle births and examinations in these Health Care Centres. We will continue working with local authorities so ensure best possible health service to the local population.
KFDK plans to construct several more Health Care Centres in Kashmir, providing other districts and rural areas with access to CMWs and basic health care services.
Details of Mother and Child Health Care Centres, supported by Kashmir Fund DK:
Syeda Sarwat Begum
Noor ul Nisa
Parveen Bi Bi