Maya Washington (Nepal)

Maya grew up in San Francisco, CA. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science and is currently a graduate student at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management; pursuing a degree in Coexistence and Conflict with a focus on Humanitarian Aid. Maya is a former Peace Corps Volunteer having served in Kenya under the Ministry of Health as an HIV/AIDS education and prevention volunteer, where she helped provide Traditional Birth Attendants with kits needed to perform safe deliveries and assisted in training those attendants. After being evacuated from Kenya due to political turmoil, Maya served under the Ministry of Health in Lesotho (Southern Africa) as an HIV/AIDS education/prevention and youth development volunteer. While in Peace Corps Lesotho Maya helped HIV positive mothers learn how to better care for themselves and their newborns through nutrition and women’s health education. She helped begin two Libraries within her rural community of Nazareth, Lesotho and ran diversity camps throughout the country. Contact: mwashington@advocacynet.org



Why would Nepalese women walk more than 6 hours through rough terrain during monsoon season?

24 Jul

http://www.advocacynet.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/DSC_0458-300×200.jpeg

The answer to this question is not a simple one. It involves women’s health, culture and a slew of other issues that I couldn’t even begin to touch upon.

The fact is, the world’s healthcare systems are broken. Don’t get me wrong; some are far better than others while some are far far worse. Dire needs aren’t addressed and services can’t reach those who need them the most. Women in developing countries are especially susceptible to these broken systems. The causes for their susceptibility are many; from the cultural norms of societies that keep women’s needs, thoughts and opinions on the back burner to a lack of understanding of women’s health issues; as many young girls in these communities only learn about their bodies through hushes and whispers behind closed doors and sometimes only prior to their wedding nights.

http://www.advocacynet.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/DSC_0891-300×200.jpeg

In the country of Nepal, women’s health is most definitely on the back burner and there is one major human rights abuse that is constantly overlooked. That, as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, of uterine prolapse. Women in the rural villages of Nepal are subject to hard labor almost as soon as they are able to walk. They must carry heavy loads of water wood food etc… up treacherous mountain sides every single day in order to cook, clean, eat and live their lives. None of these conditions change when a woman is pregnant. A woman nine months pregnant in Nepal is expected to carry out all duties put to her until she gives birth to her child and shortly thereafter those duties must continue. There is little to no time for recovery. Due to these conditions and the stress carrying a child and giving birth has on a woman’s body, she is often susceptible to the condition of uterine prolapse. This painful, debilitating condition often goes untreated, as women in these areas are unaware of opportunities for treatment or unable to afford them. 

I’ve been in Nepal for 6 weeks now and have had the opportunity to attend two health camps held by a woman so passionate about the cause of women’s health and uterine prolapse that she dedicates most of her life to ending it; plunging a great deal of her personal income and much more of her time into the effort to make a difference. This woman is Indira Thapa, the founder and president of the local Community based Organization, Care Women Nepal.

During the first days of the camps nearly 600 members of the rural Dhankuta community and the outskirts of the Jitpur area arrived at the Community Health Center and waited in long lines ti be seen for a variety of conditions. Some came for eye exams that aren’t available elsewhere and they would never be able to afford if they were. More than half of these community members were women seeking treatment for gynecological issues.

http://www.advocacynet.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/DSC_0417-300×200.jpeg

I spent the first day of the camp observing some amazing things; such as a woman nearly eight months pregnant getting to see her baby on an ultrasound for the first time and see its heartbeat and a woman walking around the clinic with a huge smile on her face after being given a pair of eyeglasses and the ability to see the world clearly for the first time in ages.

http://www.advocacynet.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/DSC_0791-300×200.jpeg

I had the opportunity to to sit in the gynecology room and watch the procedures. Women came in for any number of reasons, from full-blown uterine prolapse in which which their uterus was protruding from their vagina to a simple pregnancy test. When asked
if they would have been able to see a doctor, nurse or other healthcare
professional if this camp were not available the answer was more often than
not, no. Because this health camp is free of charge, women are more likely to
walk up to 6 hours to seek medical care, as they cannot afford it otherwise.

Over the two days of this camp the gynecology team treated
nearly 300 patients for a variety of gynecological issues. The camp saw more
than 1,000 patients including men, women and children who would have simply
suffered with whatever ailment they had, not seeking treatment due to a lack of
funds or knowledge.

This camp fills a great need in these rural communities but
there is so much more that needs to be done. At this camp alone Care Women
Nepal recognized 22 women with third or fourth degree prolapse in which their
uteri were protruding from their vaginal canals. This is in addition to the 35
women recognized during the organization’s June 2015 camp. These women are in
desperate need of surgeries. If you would like to help, please do so by
clicking the link below and donating to our campaign.

Care to make a Difference?  

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The answer to this question is not a simple one. It involves women’s health, culture and a slew of other issues that I couldn’t even begin to touch upon.<\/span><\/p>

The fact is, the world’s healthcare systems are broken. Don’t get me wrong; some are far better than others while some are far far worse. Dire needs aren’t addressed and services can’t reach those who need them the most. Women in developing countries are especially susceptible to these broken systems. The causes for their susceptibility are many; from the cultural norms of societies that keep women’s needs, thoughts and opinions on the back burner to a lack of understanding of women’s health issues; as many young girls in these communities only learn about their bodies through hushes and whispers behind closed doors and sometimes only prior to their wedding nights.<\/span><\/p>

<\/p>\n”,”class”:””},{“id”:”6″,”block”:”image”,”source”:”~wp-uploads\/2015\/07\/DSC_0891-300×200.jpeg”,”alt”:”DSC_0891″,”link”:”~wp-uploads\/2015\/07\/DSC_0891.jpeg”,”class”:””,”scale”:”75%”,”position”:”center”,”size”:{“width”:495,”height”:330},”store”:{“source”:”~upload\/6-105878658bcddf9d40cbe9a0d72ff425.jpeg”,”width”:495,”height”:330,”mime”:”image\/jpeg”,”size”:84368}},{“id”:”7″,”block”:”divider”},{“id”:”9″,”block”:”rte”,”content”:”

In the country of Nepal, women’s health is most definitely on the back burner and there is one major human rights abuse that is constantly overlooked. That, as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, of uterine prolapse. Women in the rural villages of Nepal are subject to hard labor almost as soon as they are able to walk. They must carry heavy loads of water wood food etc… up treacherous mountain sides every single day in order to cook, clean, eat and live their lives. None of these conditions change when a woman is pregnant. A woman nine months pregnant in Nepal is expected to carry out all duties put to her until she gives birth to her child and shortly thereafter those duties must continue. There is little to no time for recovery. Due to these conditions and the stress carrying a child and giving birth has on a woman’s body, she is often susceptible to the condition of uterine prolapse. This painful, debilitating condition often goes untreated, as women in these areas are unaware of opportunities for treatment or unable to afford them. <\/span><\/p>

I\u2019ve been in Nepal for 6 weeks now and have had the opportunity to attend two health camps held by a woman so passionate about the cause of women’s health and uterine prolapse that she dedicates most of her life to ending it; plunging a great deal of her personal income and much more of her time into the effort to make a difference. This woman is Indira Thapa, the founder and president of the local Community based Organization, Care Women Nepal.<\/span><\/p>

During the first days of the camps nearly 600 members of the rural Dhankuta community and the outskirts of the Jitpur area arrived at the Community Health Center and waited in long lines ti be seen for a variety of conditions. Some came for eye exams that aren’t available elsewhere and they would never be able to afford if they were. More than half of these community members were women seeking treatment for gynecological issues.<\/span><\/p>\n”,”class”:””},{“id”:”10″,”block”:”image”,”source”:”~wp-uploads\/2015\/07\/DSC_0417-300×200.jpeg”,”alt”:”DSC_0417″,”link”:”~wp-uploads\/2015\/07\/DSC_0417.jpeg”,”class”:””,”scale”:”75%”,”position”:”center”,”size”:{“width”:495,”height”:330},”store”:{“source”:”~upload\/10-d41a636e38ee37a322e29e0b693d36c6.jpeg”,”width”:495,”height”:330,”mime”:”image\/jpeg”,”size”:120101}},{“id”:”11″,”block”:”divider”},{“id”:”12″,”block”:”rte”,”content”:”

I spent the first day of the camp observing some amazing things; such as a woman nearly eight months pregnant getting to see her baby on an ultrasound for the first time and see its heartbeat and a woman walking around the clinic with a huge smile on her face after being given a pair of eyeglasses and the ability to see the world clearly for the first time in ages.<\/span><\/p>\n”,”class”:””},{“id”:”13″,”block”:”image”,”source”:”~wp-uploads\/2015\/07\/DSC_0791-300×200.jpeg”,”alt”:”DSC_0791″,”link”:”~wp-uploads\/2015\/07\/DSC_0791.jpeg”,”class”:””,”scale”:”75%”,”position”:”center”,”size”:{“width”:495,”height”:330},”store”:{“source”:”~upload\/13-fe568e39048040d83dd06ff27b8e8d68.jpeg”,”width”:495,”height”:330,”mime”:”image\/jpeg”,”size”:97400}},{“id”:”14″,”block”:”divider”},{“id”:”15″,”block”:”rte”,”content”:”

I had the opportunity to to sit in the gynecology room and watch the procedures. Women came in for any number of reasons, from full-blown uterine prolapse in which which their uterus was protruding from their vagina to a simple pregnancy test. When asked\nif they would have been able to see a doctor, nurse or other healthcare\nprofessional if this camp were not available the answer was more often than\nnot, no. Because this health camp is free of charge, women are more likely to\nwalk up to 6 hours to seek medical care, as they cannot afford it otherwise.<\/span><\/p>\n

Over the two days of this camp the gynecology team treated\nnearly 300 patients for a variety of gynecological issues. The camp saw more\nthan 1,000 patients including men, women and children who would have simply\nsuffered with whatever ailment they had, not seeking treatment due to a lack of\nfunds or knowledge.<\/span><\/p>\n

This camp fills a great need in these rural communities but\nthere is so much more that needs to be done. At this camp alone Care Women\nNepal recognized 22 women with third or fourth degree prolapse in which their\nuteri were protruding from their vaginal canals. This is in addition to the 35\nwomen recognized during the organization\u2019s June 2015 camp. These women are in\ndesperate need of surgeries. If you would like to help, please do so by\nclicking the link below and donating to our campaign.<\/span><\/p>

Care to make a Difference?<\/a> <\/span> <\/p>\n”,”class”:””}]}[/content-builder]

Posted By Maya Washington (Nepal)

Posted Jul 24th, 2015

333 Comments

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