Female Community Health Volunteers Critical To Nepal’s, USAID’s Response To NTDs

Huffington Post: What My Aunt, A Health Volunteer In Nepal, Taught Me About Women And Neglected Diseases
Kalpana Bhandari, monitoring and evaluation adviser at ENVISION

“…[Female community health volunteers (FCHVs) form Nepal’s] health system’s backbone, providing basic maternal and child health, family planning, and community-based health services. … Although many FCHVs are illiterate or semi-literate, they are trained by Nepal’s government and trusted by their communities. They are on the frontlines of Nepal’s fight against [neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)], creating awareness and distributing medicines during mass treatment campaigns. … Beyond my home country, I look at the bigger picture of how many people are treated across the countries and NTDs that USAID is targeting. … USAID began collecting treatment numbers by gender in 2012, and generally, we see a promising picture: Across the board, we are reaching men and women equally with NTD preventive treatments. … [T]he role and impact of women in the fight against NTDs goes beyond data and numbers. … To my aunt and the thousands of other volunteers throughout the world working every day to keep their communities healthy, I want to say thank you for your dedication and commitment” (3/6).