Saturday, March 20, 2010

Nepal Clinic For Women

From the Star:
The frail young woman looked too exhausted to nod her head when the counsellor explained the procedure to her. Behind her, perched on a slope in Nepal's high Himalayas, the medical tent beckoned. She followed a nurse inside, and was quickly scrubbed and draped for the operation that would change her life.

Waiting patiently under a tree was an emaciated elderly man cradling in his arms a year-old child. After his granddaughter's sixth baby, produced by the age of 26, he had watched her become weaker, sicker and more anemic from malnutrition and constant bleeding.

When the woman's husband refused to help, the grandfather quietly shouldered the youngest child, took the young woman's hand, and walked with her for two days over mountain passes to the internationally funded rural clinic that provided family planning, women's health care and the sterilization procedure that ensured she would not endure another debilitating birth. For Nepal's impoverished village women, with one of the world's highest maternal mortality rates and no access to birth control, it was a life-saving operation.

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