Newborns at Risk as Monsoon Season Approaches Says Save the Children.
An estimated 92,900 pregnant women were among the population hit by the powerful earthquakes that struck April 25th and
May 12th. Many of them are now living outside their damaged homes with their babies, under plastic sheeting in cold and
increasingly unsanitary conditions. When the monsoon season starts in a few weeks, heavy rains will increase the risk of
disease spreading, particularly waterborne diseases like cholera.
In the earthquake-affected areas, such as Sindhupalchok, Dolakha and Gorkha, 73% of health facilities providing
maternity care have been damaged or destroyed, leaving women with few options to access neonatal and postnatal
Dr. Louisa Baxter, Health Coordinator for Save the Children’s emergency response in Nepal, said: “The critical first few
days of a baby’s life are when they are at their most vulnerable. Simple things like not having a sterile implement to
cut the umbilical cord, or not having a clean and dry place to sleep, can be deadly for a newborn.
“One month on from the earthquake in Nepal, making sure that mothers have a safe place to give birth and bring their
babies back to must be a priority.”
Rupa, the mother of a three month old baby, had her home in Dolakha province destroyed in the second earthquake. “The
drinking water here is coming out yellow now since the earthquake, and the ground floods where we’re sleeping at night,”
“I’m really worried about the small children – we adults can live out in the cold without proper food, but how will
Save the Children is working in the worst affected areas to support mothers and protect babies and children, reaching
more than 127,531 people in the month since the earthquake hit. The charity’s work includes:
• Giving baby kits to new mothers and Safe Delivery Kits to health clinics
• Distributing essential shelter items such as tarpaulin and blankets, as well as food, hygiene kits and kitchen
• Repairing broken water and sanitation facilities, building toilets in displacement camps and giving out chlorine
tablets to purify water
• Setting up dozens of temporary classrooms and child friendly spaces, to help children recover and return to a