Client-centered care during COVID-19

Even in a global pandemic, reproductive healthcare is essential. That’s why the bold women of MSI have gone to extraordinary lengths to keep services going for women in need. 

MSI’s center in Kohalpur, Nepal, has felt the impacts of COVID-19, especially as cases have increased in the region. Over the course of the pandemic, the team has dealt with government lockdowns, supply shortages, and other challenges. One day this spring, Suman Upadhyaya, the team leader at the center, found herself entirely alone while other frontline workers dealt with COVID-related situations elsewhere. 

A woman rushed into the clinic, bleeding heavily and desperate for help. With no one available to help, Suman was on her own—and she knew her client couldn’t wait. She immediately began treatment, and thanks to the training she received with MSI was able to stop the bleeding and address the problem. 

Suman speaks to a client during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last May, the average daily number of COVID-19 cases in this small district of Nepal was over 1,000. During the second wave of the pandemic, rising cases in India spilled into Nepal, leading to increased death rates. Throughout, the demand for reproductive health has never lessened. 

With access to contraception limited and scores of facilities closed, many women resorted to dangerous, potentially life-threatening, methods of unsafe abortion. It wasn’t uncommon during this period for the MSI center to see two or more clients a day with complications like excessive bleeding, infections, incomplete abortions and even perforations.  

Suman remembered, “I was alone managing everything in the center for almost a week; COVID 19 cases were surging in Kohalpur. It was a difficult time, but we managed to get through it, working in such a situation, because our motivating factor was our clients. We will NEVER deny a client coming to us.”  

Suman’s commitment is representative of the dedication to client-centered care that MSI is known for around the world. COVID-19 made the past year unusually challenging, but it revealed how innovative, resourceful and strong our providers are. Bold women like Suman are creating a world where every woman has the reproductive healthcare she needs to thrive.  

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