GTA research team along with Coordinator (Program & Field) Mr. Ganesh Basnet paid a visit to Bardiya-Gulariya to mark the formative research titled “Hygiene Promotion through routine immunization”. Here is a small experience of what he observed during the field visit.
During October, the journey began from Kathmandu to Bardiya (Gulariya), which was a very memorable and exciting moment for all of us. We had lots of fun throughout our journey from Kathmandu to Bardiya. After reaching Bardiya, the very next day we visited the District Public Health Office to collect data of health care facilities there. We interviewed at the District Public Health Office (DPHO) with the DPHO Chief. It was very explorative and informative for all of us. After that, my team and I got split into different groups, and we started our research study accordingly.
My group went to Baniyabar of Bardiya District. During that time, we faced some difficulties, as we had to walk for four hours to reach Baniyabar from Gulariya. After reaching Baniyabar and taking some rest the very next day, we started our research work where we first conducted interviews with health workers. Then, we observed the immunization sessions, and we conducted a household survey, focus group discussion (FGD), and in-depth interviews with new mothers who had babies younger than nine months old.
We also observed the daily behavior and routine of the new mothers by visiting their homes, after collecting permission from them on the previous day. Due to a lack of knowledge and some other presumed thoughts, they were observed neglecting the basic health care precautions. According to a health worker, the scenario was even worse previously. The majority of people in the community were Tharus where the girls used to marry at an early age and give birth to children very young, leading to social and health problems.
In the context of raising their newborn babies, the basic hygiene routine seemed to be neglected. Also, the babies’ feces used to be thrown in the river. During breastfeeding and while cooking, basic health precautions were not taken. They were even careless in washing hands, cleaning clothes and their surroundings. As a result, we found that the babies were facing problems like Diarrhea, Jaundice and Typhoid. So, these were some of the scenarios that we saw during our field visit.
Above all, the challenges faced and the memorable experiences that I had during my field visit helped me grow. I got to learn and groom myself a lot from it, which helped me in developing the skills of working in a group, coordinating with different organizations, and working in different socio-cultural settings. At the end, it was a priceless experience for me where I was able to apply different tools and techniques of research. Most importantly, the life lesson learned from this field visit was that I learned to cope up with challenges that came my way and learned how to conduct research works at the scheduled time.