Sudurpaschim Province

Women health volunteers encourage women to seek medical services

- MENUKA DHUNGANA, ACHHAM

Jun 12, 2019-

Mangala BK, 45, a native of Mangalsain, has been working as a health volunteer for the past 26 years. She is one of the first women in her village to start working in the field.

Since then, Mangalsain has welcomed many more women health volunteers like Mangala. And over time, villagers have come to place their trust in these women volunteers and believe that having women at the helm of health care services in their area helps the villagers come forward with their problems.

Ganga Bista of Mangalsain-5, a new mother, is thankful for Mangala’s presence in the village, she said, “I had some post-delivery complications and Mangala was the one who took me to the District Hospital. It would have been extremely difficult for me to recover if not for Mangala’s care.”

“In the past, women in the villages did not come forward with their health problems; they would hesitate to even get pregnancy tests done. They weren’t comfortable with male doctors and there weren’t women health workers either,” she said.  

However, times have changed for the better for Mangala and the ones who use her services. “People used to hesitate to get their children vaccinated and women hardly sought health checks, but now the villagers treat health volunteers on par with doctors,” said Mangala, adding that times have changed now.

Mathura Dhungana, another woman health volunteer, said that women in the villages come to her first to share about their problems (usually pregnancy related) and to seek advice related to women health issues. She said, “Women these days are aware of delivery complications and are willing to take our advice to help them minimise risks.”

There are 941 women health volunteers deployed in Achham district. In Mangalsain alone, there are 116 women health volunteers working in the villages collaborating with the municipality.

Women health volunteers raise awareness about family planning, adolescent sexual and reproductive health, maternal health and other related areas in line with the National Health Policy in the communities. They perform many roles, including counseling women on healthy behaviors, promoting vitamin A campaigns and immunisation programmes and recommending women to nearby health centres.

 

Published: 13-06-2019 06:30

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