Dadeldhura Nutritional Rehabilitation Home Officially Joins the Nepali Hospital System!
Exciting news! On July 26th, 2022, the Dadeldhura Nutritional Rehabilitation Home was formally handed over to the government-run Dadeldhura Hospital in a special ceremony. This marks the successful conclusion of NYF’s work building and launching new Nutritional Rehabilitation Homes—a project that began in 1998.
NYF’s pioneering NRH model has been so successful that it has become a central piece of Nepal’s national work to end childhood malnutrition. Indeed, the government has already built an additional seven facilities throughout the country—with more on the way! Read more about these remarkable facilities here.
About the Dadeldhura Nutritional Rehabilitation Home
The Nepali government specifically requested the Dadeldhura Nutritional Rehabilitation Home because the children in Dadeldhura District and in multiple adjoining districts were experiencing a very high rate of stunting due to malnutrition. They had identified several of these districts as among the lowest performing in Nepal when looking at rates of stunting, anemia, and low weight in children and mothers of reproductive age.
Mothers in the region were undoubtedly eager to help their babies grow and develop into healthy, active kids and strong, creative young adults. But in many of their households, there’s no room in the budget for empty calories.
Every rupee spent on food is a rupee that can’t be spent on other necessities like rent, medicine, and school. Without access to knowledge about nutrition—what vegetables contain the nutrients kids need and how to combine and prepare foods to maximize nutritional value—mothers can only make their best guesses with the resources they have.
Many of these parents have shared stories of feeling heartache as they watched their children struggling to put on weight in spite of the adults’ best efforts.
Nepal’s government hoped that one of our clinics would provide the medical support and educational resources nearby communities needed to begin reversing this trend.
This 10-bed facility (enough for 10 mother-child pairs) would be NYF’s final NRH construction project—the 17th such clinic we had built. We completed construction in August 2017 and started operating on September 1st of that same year.
Achievements at the Dadeldhura Nutritional Rehabilitation Home
In the five years since this clinic opened its doors, nine specially trained staff members have made the Dadeldhura Nutritional Rehabilitation Home a pride of the associated hospital. Here are some of their achievements:
- They provided residential treatment and care for 477 children—including diet therapy, 24-hour nursing care, medical check-ups by a pediatrician, and careful monitoring. During these stays, their caregivers, usually mothers, received hands-on training on practical nutrition education and personalized counseling on how to maximize the nutrition in their home diets using only the ingredients available to them.
- They’ve conducted nutritional screenings (and provided personalized nutritional counseling for moms!) for 2,266 children who were visiting the Dadeldhura Hospital for other ailments when malnutrition was a contributing factor.
- Despite not having a designated field staff, NRH staff managed to conduct 56 home visits to follow-up with discharged children who had been severely malnourished enough that their cases required prolonged monitoring.
- They provided community outreach and educational events for their surrounding communities whenever it was necessary, including Breastfeeding Week, Iodine Month, and Nutrition Week.
During the COVID pandemic:
- During COVID-19, They conducted an additional 113 follow-up visits over the phone, coaching caregivers on practical nutrition tips, home hygiene, and child health care at home.
Trainings and Assessments
Staff members have been eager to continue learning to best serve their young patients. Not only have they all participated in annual “refresher” training through NYF’s Kathmandu Valley flagship NRH, but they’ve also made efforts to specialize by attending trainings held by the Nepali Ministry of Health. Several nurses have also attended a maternal and young infant child nutrition workshop. Others have participated in trainings focused on preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS. Most recently, a nurse attended a 5-day workshop on “Nutrition in Emergencies,” focused on learnings from the COVID pandemic.
In 2021, a government team conducted an assessment on the full Dadeldhura Hospital. The NRH scored highest among all the clinical settings associated with the hospital.
This incredible work will continue, with NYF still providing follow-up training for NRH staff members across the country. This includes those providing transformative services in Dadeldhura. In fact, we’re providing training for NRH staff members at facilities built entirely by the Nepali government! This training takes place at our flagship Kathmandu Valley NRH, led by our incredible Nutrition Coordinator, Sunita Rimal.
New Opportunities in Childhood Nutrition
Nepal, NYF, and other organizations working to combat childhood malnutrition have made tremendous strides over the 24 years since we first began providing holistic nutritional care. But the work isn’t finished.
At NYF, we strive to design programs that can one day be sustainably taken over by the communities they are serving. This keeps us at the forefront of social innovation in Nepal—focusing our attention on developing new, focused, daring programs that respond to the toughest challenges.
With the Nepali government now building and operating NRHs on its own, NYF’s nutrition team sees new opportunities to conduct life-saving Nutrition Outreach Camps in more and more remote regions of the country.
As Nepal works to improve its nationwide infrastructure, it must contend with its unique, dramatic geography. Sharp elevation shifts throughout the country make building and maintaining roads and bridges incredibly difficult. As a result, many villages are still only accessible on foot. Historically, we’ve struggled to persuade some parents to bring their severely-malnourished children to the nearest NRH, as the journey to the closest one was often several days long and potentially dangerous.
Now when we find children in these areas in need of immediate medical care, there’s an NRH within much closer reach than there has ever been before. That makes it so much easier to save more lives and introduce nutritional education to eager communities.
Thank you so much for being part of this journey. We are so grateful to everyone who has helped make this chapter of NYF’s journey such a transformative success—not only for the individual children we’ve nourished, but for the country as a whole.
As Nepal recovers from the COVID pandemic and finds a “new normal”, NYF is hard at work launching new initiatives, keeping our promises to those already in our care, and integrating new learnings from the past two years. Please help us continue to grow our impact by making a generous gift today right here on our website!
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