Health Partnership Nepal, UK linked with the Nepal Medical College, Nepal to support Trishuli hospital in setting up a free health camp for women with gynaecological concerns.

Limited health options in a mountainous region of Nepal

Trishuli village is located in the mountainous region of Nepal with only one government hospital, meaning that the region lacks sufficient medical doctors, nurses and equipment. Laxmi Sapkota is an Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) at Trishuli hospital. According to Laxmi, there were various gynaecological problems prolonged within the women of Trishuli such as urinary tract infections, prolapsed uterus, and menorrhagia. A local conservative mind set and high levels of female illiteracy has meant that women sense hesitation to go for treatment and convey their problems to doctors. This has converted minor health problems to life threatening problems. According to Laxmi, around 40%-50% of women are hiding such sexual problems.

Health Link: London & Trishuli

To address this issue, a free health camp was organised in support of Trishuli hospital. To date the health camp has provided direct health service to 300 patients and played a significant role in encouraging women to come forward with their problems. According to Laxmi, about 40 women received surgical treatment from the experienced doctors of Nepal and UK. The health camp has also played an important role in bringing awareness of gynaecological problems to the local female population, and the staff have witnessed an increase in the number of women visiting Trushali hospital with other problems.

For Laxmi, perhaps the most unexpected achievement from the project has been the increased awareness of secondary health problems in women that can result from neglecting gynaecological issues. This has resulted in a decrease of long term health problems associated with women and a decrease in maternal mortality rate in that region. According to Laxmi, after the health camp was started in this area, about 25% of the problems associated with the women were solved.

Making a difference to other parts of Nepal

In spite of various barriers (frequent staff changeover in one of the partner organisations), the coordinator of the project, Dr. Manohar Lal Shrestha, feels that the project has been successful in addressing its objectives. According to Dr. Shrestha, besides Trishuli, this project has also provided their direct service to other parts of Nepal. As a result of the project more than 140 surgical operations have been performed in areas including Trishuli, Dhanusa, and Lamjung.

IHLFS Team, British Council Nepal