World Vision District Manager addressing the community during the handover
72 years-old Narmaya finished her morning household chores quickly and rushed to witness the handover of the newly-constructed health post building. She was not ready to miss the exciting official opening of the health post which would thenceforth remove the difficulties she had in getting to the city hospital for even minor treatment.
“We had to walk hours to reach the hospital in Gorkhabazaar [the nearby city] as the health post here lacked adequate facilities and medicines", she recollects.
She has heard that this new building in her village has better facilities such as a birthing center, more equipment, solar power backup, adequate water, and a toilet. "Now we don't need to reach the city for simple illnesses", Nirmaya says enthusiastically.
The devastating earthquake of 25th April destroyed the old health post, after which it was somehow run from a small temporary space. With the Village Development Committee's budget, construction of the new building had started, but it halted halfway when funds ran out. World Vision then took responsibility of completing as well as furnishing it.
Ram Lal (40) has worked as a health post In-charge for the past 16 years and receiving this new health post is an auspicious moment for him. Expressing his gratitude he says, "This building is like a palace for us".
"World Vision also provided different medical equipment including beds and a delivery equipment".
He is optimistic that the communities it serves will benefit from such a well-set up and properly constructed health post.
However, Ram Lal also admits that the medicines provided by the District Health Office are still not sufficient to meet people’s requirement. "If we can provide more types of medicine from this health post, we can serve our community better".
At the function to mark the building handover, stretchers were also distributed to 26 Female Community Heath Volunteers (FCHV). Prem Kumari, one of the FCHVs, says that the stretcher will now make it easier to take patients to the health post or hospital.
"Before we used to make temporary stretchers using logs and clothes to carry patients ", she mumbles.
Access to proper health facilities is one of the biggest challenges in the remote villages of Nepal. The situation turned dire after the only health post was destroyed by the earthquake, disrupting even basic health facilities in affected Village Development Committees (VDCs).
Construction of the Health Post in Gaikhur VDC in Gorkha, was one attempt by World Vision to provide a robust health service to the communities there while seeking to fulfill the slogan, ‘Build Back Better’.
After the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal on 25 April and 12 May 2015, World Vision has reached over 360,000 beneficiaries with relief and recovery work in ten of the most affected districts of Nepal (Sindhupalchowk, Sindhuli, Lamjung, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kathmandu, Gorkha, Dhading, Dolakha and Nuwakot). During the initial phase of the response, those most affected received both food and non-food items. Communities also benefitted from the temporary learning centers (TLC) and child friendly spaces (CFS) established, and from the water, sanitation & hygiene (WASH) programs and cash-for-programming introduced. The earthquake response entered its Recovery Phase in November 2015 and operation is now being scaled up to help the people of Nepal build back better in the sectors of health, education and livelihood.
Chalise is a Communications Officer, World Vision International Nepal