World Health Day is celebrated on April 7th every year. This year, the World Health Organisation has chosen to focus on universal health coverage. That is, ensuring health services for all, without discrimination. While many countries have made brilliant progress towards providing universal health coverage, at least half the world’s population remain unable to access vital health services.
Globally, rural communities can often bear a high proportion of the burden due to their lack of proximity to larger towns and the healthcare facilities. Additionally, a lot of the rural population work outside the formal pay sector, often leaving them unable to pay for treatment.
In the UK, we often take our national healthcare service for granted and forget to acknowledge our privilege. This is far from the reality in remote regions of Nepal. Here, without PHASE’s involvement, accessing healthcare would often involve a three-day walk, only to arrive to find a lack of appropriate medicine and unaffordable prices.
PHASE Worldwide works with disadvantaged and isolated communities in the Himalayas in Nepal. One of our key policy areas is the ongoing expansion of health projects. PHASE works to alleviate the problematic cycle of poor health due to a challenging environment and a lack of access to healthcare.
In the period of 2016-2017 PHASE Worldwide has successfully helped to provide the following services:
- PHASE Nepal delivered 24 Primary Health Centres, 9 of which were solely funded by PHASE Worldwide.
- 101,222 patient visits, of whom 17,046 were under 5 years old.
- 916 births were supported by skilled health staff.
- 3630 family planning appointments.
- 2393 sessions of community health education which 23,525 people attended.
- Home health visits which reached 1016 people.
- A current trial of a new cervical cancer screening initiative.
Universal health coverage is feasible when political will is strong, but sadly, rural regions are often forgotten. Without the money raised by PHASE Worldwide, and the vital work we carry out in villages across Nepal, many people wouldn’t be able to access the health care they require, which would sometimes have fatal consequences.
This World Health Day, please consider supporting PHASE Worldwide and help people to access the healthcare services that they need and are entitled to. Healthcare is not a commodity. In a world of fast-paced developments in science and medicine, it is unacceptable that some parts of the world are being so dramatically left behind. By raising awareness about this problem in Nepal, and the world over, we can inspire and motivate everyone to be part of the change. #HealthForAll
Lizzie Barnard, PHASE Volunteer, 2018
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