Health Camp in Okhreni
June 12, 2023
Akasha Academy is dedicated to foster health care, prevention and health promotion. One way to do so, are regular health camps in rural areas of Nepal.
On Saturday, May 13th 2023, Akasha Academy together with Nepal Medical Students Society (NMSS) organized a health camp in Okhreni – one of the remote districts of Kathmandu that lacks basic health services. The aim was to provide free medical check-ups, medicine, councelling as well as information about healthy lifestyle.
During the day, more than 140 people took advantage of the opportunity to gain free access to general practitioners and different health specialists. Additionally, our traineeship students and staff provided information and counseling to educate the local population about a healthy lifestyle, balanced nutrition and female reproductive health.
Making health services accesible for everyone
In 2022, the traineeship students and staff of Akasha Academy conducted a survey in order to find out the health status in the communities near Gokarneshwor. By analyzing the results, we discovered that the district of Okhreni was one of the most disadvantaged in terms of access to proper health care.
Okhreni is a village that has no pharmacy or health facilities. For many treatments it is necessary to travel to Kathmandu City, which is around 1,5 hours away by car. This means high costs and long travels. Even just for basic medicine, costs for transport to pharmacy can be higher than the drugs itself. The great effort for medical treatment increases the risk of waiting out early treatment and eventually more severe cases or complications.
After learning about the prevalent health issues in the community, we raised funds for medicine, organized access to general physicians and specialists together with NMSS and prepared information stations to raise awareness about pressing health topics.
Treatment of local health issues
With the health camp, we could provide free medical treatments regarding general medicine, orthopedics, pediatrics, gynecology and dental health. In addition, basic lab checks were performed and pharmaceuticals were dispensed.
According to the physicians who examined the patients, many health issues in Okhreni are related to the lifestyle and lack of health education. For example, imbalanced nutrition leads to deficiencies and overweight. For those reasons diseases like gastritis, hypertension and osteoarthritis were very common cases at the health camp.
Also, hard manual work in fields is a part of everyday life for many and therefore issues like osteoarthritis also occur with many young people. Women often start wearing heavily again shortly after giving birth. This can cause prolapse, which was also diagnosed and treated by the physicians.
Additionally, lack of awareness for basic hygiene leads to different infections and disease that could be otherwise easily avoided. In particular, women’s health is affected, e.g. due to a lack of menstrual hygiene.
Counselling regarding prevention and a healthy lifestyle
As basic health and community engagement are also major parts of our Akasha Traineeship curriculum, the health camp was also a great opportunity for the students to put their skills into action. The students measured BMI of the patients, presented them information about healthy diet and helped with the general organization of the health camp. They were very happy that the people were open to listen and learn more about changing their habits towards a healthier lifestyle.
Providing medicine, access to health-care and check-ups is important but only through education the impact in the community can be long lasting. And as women are the key to creating a positive change locally and globally – we were happy that many came to listen in the counselling booths. Our aim is to empower and inspire women all over the world that they can create a change in their communities.
How you can support
In Nepal, there are many communities like Ohkreni that lack access to proper health services. Our wish is to provide these basic needs to as many communities as possible and also to raise awareness so that more health issues can be prevented and the quality of life can be improved.
Therefore, we are already planning the next health camp in November 2023 and develop ideas to grow the impact even more. If you wish to support, we would be happy for your donation! Many thanks in advance!