Swekshya Neupane was the first winner of the Youth Times International Movement Global Forum. Her project was simple and necessary. As a young doctor, Swekshya joined a medical team that opened health camps in villages within the Kathmandu Valley. That is when she was struck by the lack of information and education on the very basics of hygiene and care women had. This combined with the lack of access to accessories and supplements for people in existing health institutions in the area.
Her project ‘Health for female community leaders’ has recently finished its first cycle, which lasted for six months and consisted of three phases. The first phase consisted of trainings on female health care and maternal health, trainings for trainers as well as refreshers, questionnaires and medical checkups and support.
In the course of the pilot 100 women have been involved - those who were open and interested in participating, and could serve as community leaders.
The outcomes have been promising - Swekshya could already see how women became more independent and aware of various health issues and conditions. The educational campaign has also brought results and women replied more accurately to questions regarding their health and hygiene. Even more, after such a short period the results of repeated basic examinations: eye, dental, blood pressure, health of pregnant women have already improved comparing to those in the first phase.
Swekshya is now collaborating with Development Vision for Nepal, a non governmental organisation that is planning to extend this pilot by bringing it to other areas and introducing it to local doctors. They plan to implement a financing model same as the famous eye doctor from Nepal uses to provide free cataract surgeries to poor Nepali; by charging regular amount those who can afford it, and finance from the Collective pocket help for the poor patients’ examinations. And as I imagined the easy and affordable access to medicine in Nepal must be of great help here, it turns out the prices are still widely prohibitive for many. Swekshya is already working on fixing this aspect as well by collaborating with pharmaceutical companies directly and using their donations.
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