MISP for reproductive health in time of crisis a priority issue

BHAKTAPUR, August 12

While tackling major health threats is always a priority, it has become essential, especially in the immediate aftermath of an emergency, to reduce mortality and morbidity through the Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) for reproductive health.

This package also enables prevention and response to sexual violence experienced particularly by women and girls in crisis situations.

Taking this into account, a three-day training was organised in Nagarkot to increase humanitarian actors’ knowledge and coordination skills on the MISP-defined priority sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services that should be implemented at the onset of a crisis.

The package also enables prevention of sexual violence and response to it

The participants were trained in coordinating and implementing MISP during emergencies.

The training package includes prevention and management of consequences of sexual violence; reduction of HIV transmission; prevention of excess maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity; and planning for comprehensive RH services, said Suresh Dahal, Public Health Inspector at NHTC.

A total of 27 participants from various agencies affiliated to the Ministry of Health and Population as well as NGOs that coordinate and implement humanitarian activities in emergencies, took part in the training organised by the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) with technical and financial support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in coordination with National Health Training Centre (NHTC) under the MoHP.

MISP is implemented by humanitarian workers operating in health, camp design and management, community services, protection and other sectors.

The training was facilitated by a team of trainers for humanitarian coordination: Dr Nirmal Rimal, Suresh Dahal of NHTC, Hari Karki of UNFPA, and Ramesh Neupane of NRCS.

One of the trainees, Sirjana Gyawali of Policy, Planning and International Cooperation Division at MoHP, said she was happy to know how MISP worked and called on all stakeholders to make it a much-talked-about issue. “I think we should ensure that the MISP is systematically implemented in a crisis situation and used as a minimum standard.”

Last year, the Government of Nepal adopted the MISP training for SRH, which is endorsed globally by Inter-Agency Standing Committee — represented by more than 30 international organisations, including UN agencies.

The government has already incorporated MISP components in district emergency and preparedness plans in many districts with UNFPA’s technical and financial support.

In Nepal, MISP was implemented for the first time while responding to floods in the Koshi River in eastern Nepal. It was also implemented after flooding in the mid-western region last year and after the April 25 earthquake.