We strengthen Nepal’s public and private health systems to increase the availability of high-quality services for women, newborns, and children across Nepal.


MOMENTUM is partnering with nearly 40 countries to accelerate progress and advance USAID’s work to save lives and improve health outcomes for women, children, families, and communities in all of their diversity. MOMENTUM brings together specialized technical and country expertise through six distinct yet integrated awards with the depth and breadth of experience to spur reductions in maternal, newborn, and child mortality and morbidity.

Together with the government of Nepal and local partners, two MOMENTUM projects—Country and Global Leadership and Private Healthcare Delivery—address challenges to maternal and newborn health, focusing on strengthening tracking systems for maternal and perinatal deaths, improving health care for small and sick newborns, and exploring nutritional practices during the first stage of labor. MOMENTUM also partners with providers, facilities, and pharmacies in the private sector, to increase access to contraception across the country, especially for young people.


Partnering to Create Policies and Practices that Improve the Care of Small and Sick Newborns

As of 2016, 10 percent of babies born in Nepal were considered smaller than average, and the same percentage weighed less than 5.5 pounds (2.5 kilograms) at birth. As part of MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership’s work to improve quality of care, the project is supporting Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) to assess current practices for, barriers to, and enablers of care for small and sick newborns. This assessment bolsters the project’s efforts to co-design, develop, and test quality of care standards for small or sick newborns, including feeding practices, that align with the country’s priorities and aims. This process builds on the national adaptation of the World Health Organization (WHO) 2020 Standards for Improving the Quality of Care for Small and Sick Newborns in Health Facilities and the WHO and UNICEF Model of Care for Small and Sick Newborns to Nepal’s specific context. MOMENTUM is helping to pilot the model in four special newborn care units to assess the feasibility and adaptability of the model.

Strengthening Nepal’s Systems for Tracking Maternal and Perinatal Deaths

Counting maternal and perinatal deaths and gathering information on the surrounding circumstances provides health systems, facilities, and providers valuable information to help reduce preventable deaths.  MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership is partnering with the Family Welfare Division at the MoHP to strengthen the Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response (MPDSR) system in Koshi province. We are providing targeted capacity-building assistance to facility and provincial teams and suggesting strategies to strengthen their use of the MPDSR system. We are also using a Behaviorally Focused Applied Political Economy Analysis (BF-APEA) to help the government of Nepal identify systemic factors that contribute to and inhibit the effective application of MPDSR at a subnational level.


Understanding Nutrition Practices During Labor

The WHO recommends that women at low risk for a cesarean section drink fluids and eat food during the first stage of labor. This behavior is part of better quality of care for laboring mothers, which helps improve maternal and newborn health outcomes. However, there is little research on nutrition practices in labor in low- and middle-income countries to contextualize the global push to implement WHO’s recommendations. To respond to this gap, MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership is conducting an assessment in Nepal to understand current nutrition practices during labor and make recommendations on how to help facilities adhere to WHO recommendations.

MOMENTUM is also leading an assessment to understand health providers’, mothers’, and families’ perspectives on practices and barriers around breastfeeding and specialized feeding for newborns.



Expanding Access to Family Planning Through the Private Sector

Nineteen percent of Nepali people who use modern contraception get their method from a private source, which makes the private sector an essential partner as access to and use of voluntary family planning expands.2 MOMENTUM Private Healthcare Delivery partners with private facilities and pharmacies in Karnali and Madhesh provinces to provide quality counseling on family planning methods and access to a full range of methods for their clients and provides business management support.

Sijendra Thapa, MOMENTUM Private Healthcare Delivery Nepal

Creating Tailored Solutions for Youth Family Planning

Many young people ages 15 to 24 who want to delay or prevent pregnancy are not currently using any form of modern contraception, especially married adolescent girls and young women. Using a human-centered approach, MOMENTUM Private Healthcare Delivery partners with private providers in Madhesh and Karnali provinces in their efforts to reach youth with the family planning services they need. This approach is designed to adapt services grounded in the realities that young people experience daily, allowing providers to reach them more effectively.

Pramin Manandhar/FHI 360

Our Achievements in Nepal

  • 900 private sector facilities supported

    MOMENTUM Private Healthcare Delivery is supporting more than 900 private sector facilities and their owners and providers to strengthen their business skills through continued coaching.

  • 121,147 client visits

    Health facilities supported by MOMENTUM Private Healthcare Delivery have received 121,147 client visits to purchase short-acting contraceptives (like oral contraception), 18 percent of them from adolescents between age 15 and 19.

Interested in partnering with us or learning more about our work in Nepal? Contact us here or check out our regional reference brief.

Learn more about USAID’s work in Nepal.


  1. Ministry of Health Nepal, New ERA, and ICF. 2017. Nepal Demographic and Health Survey 2016. Kathmandu, Nepal: Ministry of Health, Nepal.
  2. Ministry of Health Nepal, New ERA, and ICF. Nepal Demographic and Health Survey 2016.

Last updated December 2023.

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