FCHVs hailed for their selfless service

Kathmandu, December 5

The 12th National Female Community Health Volunteers Day was celebrated throughout the country today by organising various programmes to recognise the contribution of FCHVs to the health sector.

The Ministry of Health and Population held a main event on the premises of the Department of Health Service in the capital. The function brought together government officials, representatives from donor agencies, FCHVs and other stakeholders. The theme of the day, which also coincides with the International Volunteer Day, was ‘FCHVs services contributing towards a healthy society’.

On the occasion, State Minister for Health and Population Mohammad Mustak Alam said FCHVs were making selfless contribution from the community level and praised their role in reducing maternal and child mortality rate.

FCHVs have been working in VDC and municipal levels of all 75 districts. There are around 50,000 FCHVs in Nepal and 97 per cent of them are in the rural areas. The FCHVs do not provide service but act as link persons between health authorities and the community people. The concept of FCHVs was started in 1988 by the ministry to improve community participation and to enhance the outreach of health services through local women working voluntarily.

According to the MoHP, they contribute to a variety of key public health programmes, including family planning, maternal care, child health, vitamin ‘A’ supplementation/deworming and immunisation. Majority of health problems in Nepal, particularly in rural communities, are related to the health of women and children. As the country faces shortage of human resources in the health sector, FCHVs have become a major contributory factor for Nepal to achieve its health-related Millennium Development Goals. They promote the utilisation of available health services and adoption of preventive health practices among community members.