This program aims to provide support to the ones in need in the health sector through medical electives. Volunteering in Nepal through medical elective program helps both the health sectors as well as the one who seeks the medical needs. This Community health program has been given the title of Flame of the Nightingale’s Lamp, inspired from the lady herself who dedicated her life to others who were in need of care. We are well known of lady who comes from the British family and got renowned as British social reformer AkA Lady with the lamp, Angel of mercy (Florence nightingales). She was also the founder of modern nursing who has reformed the world health setup in a greater extent, and her voluntary contribution was uncountable in the health sector and nursing. She was such a graceful bold strong lady who was rebellious to lacerate deep rooted societal customs, orthodoxy, norms and values in such era where poverty, geo-political war, class struggle, discrimination and restrictive social code existed enormously. In contemporary time, we ourselves are evidence when world was hit by this deadliest disease COVID19 and that incredible aspirations of front liners to serve humanity aimed at which we should be thankful and credible for her code of conducts and writings (Notes on nursing).
Embracing Florence life we introduce program namely Flame of the Nightingale’s Lamp in a hope of contribution in today’s general medicine field by following her guidelines in Nepal, Before understanding about the program lets know about the existing medical scenario, prospects, challenges of Health sector in Nepal. This country faces an immense encumbrance from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The major challenges faced while providing quality health care during the COVID-19 pandemic was lack of health care associated human resources and health care institute which is needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Nepal was preliminary facing a shortage of medical doctors, nurses, and paramedics. Before the inception of COVID-19 the number of total health care personnel including doctors, nurses, and midwives in Nepal was 3.15 per 1000 population and required Ventilators, ICU and health care institution was also very limited. Different health indicators like maternity, infant mortality, chronic diseases was enormously neglected during this period. On the other hand; technical, geospatial constrains in underdeveloped country like Nepal has hugely impacted on service delivery mechanism in local level. Anyways, poor health service has been destined for those people whose accessibility to hospital was not much possible due to afore-mentioned reasons. These earliest health sector challenges was so much highlighted during this hard period which made the condition pathetically vulnerable. The silver lining rays of hopes raised within the cons, concept of telemedicine, incentives and security to health care workers are considered yet there still exist huge gaps.
An incommensurable contribution during 18th – 19th century by one lady has changed the regulation of world health scenario, assimilating her major contributions and vision with present time has been essential in the under developed countries like Nepal where accessibility to achieve service has been compromised. Even though the technological advancement and fast paced development of human race is going on still myriads of societal problem is essential to be addressed. We believe that navigating the nightingale’s footprint will help us to achieve the desirable changes. An idea is three major areas for the intervention as exactly as the previous ideas of nightingale; primarily, Sanitation of health institutions in addition with work in major affected areas and furthermore, statistical representation and women’s participations in health sector. Further, we also need to understand what affected area means, it’s not just the place where people are suffered with pandemic, endemic or epidemic disease rather, it’s the area where poverty, illiteracy and inaccessible or less public health sector which makes condition more vulnerable for public health concern. We are seeking for those volunteers who can dedicate their valuable time in medical field through their experiences and ideas. One will get the chance to know the existing wellbeing status of the people living in the rural areas, serve for the actual humanitarian cause but volunteers needs to understand that we are working on crucial sector which is liable for public health concern so, should be cautious during health care operation. This volunteering program will allow one to attain medical experience in a real environment and get chance to work under the supervision of experts. This program will be instrumental to set a career similarly, having an opportunity to travel, infuse up new cultures and observe new places.
Medical field and health sector is one of the most respected field in the world and its one of the hardest occupation to work as a medical personal. To achieve the goal and pursue career in health field, especially in developing countries like Nepal people dedicate their whole life. Low incentives, insecurities, underpaid are some of the major reason which have affected reliable health care service and on top of that geographical constrains and lack of facilities associated with it has been challenging for service delivery mechanism in local levels. Skilled human resources proper health institutions are not much available on the rural areas and mostly health care personal seek good life opportunities after tedious hard work so migration to developed countries for better livelihood opportunities has impacted nation health sector.
After getting to know the challenges, the main responsibility of volunteer is to coordinate with the supervisor or expert of this program, they will orient and provide basic ideas so that one can cope up with the cultural shock they might face during field work. Health care is a very responsible job, volunteers should be conscious for every minute details while carrying out the tasks. People gets contaminated with different kind of disease by their own day to day life activities, so identifying the major cause is very essential. We will try to conduct every possible ways to tackle the public health matter mostly in rural settings, from organizing health / camps to awareness raising campaigns. Every details of individuals should be kept confidential so volunteers are requested to maintain ethical code of conducts.
Arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu and received by the airport pickup staff and transfer to the Hotel.
Meeting with the dedicated team staff. Orientation includes Nepali Culture and Nepali Language class and Basis understanding of organizing health camps, presentation, analysis and if possible sightseeing in architectural Kathmandu city. Overnight at the hotel.
Orientation and Sightseeing around Kathmandu
On the second day of orientation, you will be given briefing from the experts of the particular field. Half day sightseeing in Kathmandu
Early morning departure to the program location and this is the third day and on this day, and you will have an initial meeting with the program coordinator about the program.
Our program continues from day 4 to day 13. You will get involved in different activities, the field work might vary and includes
We know that prevention is better than cure, awareness campaigns includes orientation and basic health checkups in different public places which might includes very general health checkups .
Consultation includes the general understanding of student health and guiding for their wellness, providing right guidelines, giving knowledge about the balanced diet, proper nutrition and other things after proper assessment of the problem.
General check up
This includes general health checkup, eye sights, dental which might vary according to interest areas.
Refreshment activities in school: We request you to provide your ideas so that students will grab the knowledge easily that you try to convey, it might be storytelling, games etc. Other health program may includes Water and health Sanitation, Menstrual hygiene etc.
Health institution are abided by the regulations and rules so you can observe the existing scenario, you can consult with doctors about the treatment techniques and learn skills required but you aren’t able to treat patient on your own. Having said that if yo have some special skill and if health providers ask you for favour then we will be able to use your expertise here as well.
You will get involved in different activities during your program. Overnight at the homestay.
You will be spending rest of your days working in the specific program.
Reviewing the impacts that you will be leaving to the community. Your experience of staying with the locals will be heard of. The locals will also share their experience of staying with you. Overnight at the homestay. You will drive back to Kathmandu from the program location and transferred to the hotel.
First Day: On your first day of volunteering, our staff will introduce you with organization officer/ health service providers; dedicated staffs will be briefing and helping you during your stay. Initiation of program will be visit on different organization to know the existing scenario which can also be called as period of assessment.
Weekdays: While a volunteer’s daily schedule will vary depending on the specific program, a typical day is as follows:
8:00 AM Breakfast at your home-stay.
10:00 AM Volunteers leave home for the volunteering work. The number of hours volunteers will be working depends on each program. You will be provided with light snacks break around 1:00 pm.
2.00 PM – 3.00 PM Work for the day usually ends at this time.
6.00 PM – 8.00 PM Dinner at the homestay.
Weekend: You can do the hiking and explore the nearby areas.
This time may vary according to task design, if there is any programs such as blood donation campaign, health camps during morning shift then we will inform you and provide you schedule earlier.
Taking the example of Florence Nightingale we have introduced the program “Flame of the Nightingale’s Lamp” where volunteers around the world come to Nepal in a hope of contributing in today’s general medical field by following her guidelines as the health sector scenario of Nepal in rural areas are still underdeveloped.
There are mainly 2 factors that are required for the program:
Age: You should be at least above 16 years of age to participate in this program. We especially encourage the youth to volunteer in the program as the youth are energetic and enthusiastic.
Experience: You should also have experiences in working and volunteering in medical field projects as we organize health camps for the rural community where we include basic health checkups such as Body Mass Index (BMI), Blood Pressure (BP), Diabetes and make a checklist of the basic daily activities like smoking habits, dietary pattern, exercisesetc. and suggest immediate medical attention for the one in need. If you don’t have any prior experience and wants to volunteer then please mention it earlier so we can manage orientation and introduction program accordingly.
We mostly work on the health institutions and we will be organizing campaigns on parks, school in the center of Kathmandu and Pokhara.
It’s excellent if you know the local language or Nepali but if you don’t you should at least know Basic English to communicate as we will have volunteers to translate to the locals.
Sanitation in Health Institutions:
We will try to know the situation of the health institutions (health posts) of such areas i.e. what tools they are using, how the patients are treated and how well the institutions are sanitized. If any of the basic utilities are missing then we will try and help by any means possible.
We will organize health camps and as mentioned above we will check the BMI (Body Mass Index), Blood Pressure (BP), Diabetes, Eye Checkup and suggest immediate medical attention to the ones in need.
We are responsible to work in city areas, we will be organizing camps and different other program. Speaking of our earlier experiences organizing camps, we have found that people are not much concerned about their health, people are also not aware if they have high blood pressure or sugar level, poor balanced diet.
Low income, less spending power of people is to be blamed for this very reason. There are many challenges in the health sectors of Nepal. Many places don’t even have normal health posts, locals will have to carry the patient for 2-3 days and walk by foot and take them to a health post. Even if there is one there is a lack of health experts in such areas. People are uneducated and poverty has always been a tail to them since birth. They don’t even have enough to buy a simple medicine for fever, sanitation is also very poor in such areas, and women empowerment is nearly equal to zero. So, with the help of this program you can be part of a big change in an area by providing the people information and health services which can completely change their lives. We prioritize women participation and together we can help the locals tackle their problems in their basic needs.
It is a public health matter. For any activities we need to collaborate and coordinate with NHRC (Nepal Health Research Council) for approval and no objection certificate. So we mostly organize the health camps which are not much restricted ad done under the supervision of experts’ .While we organize campaign we have to very careful and well sanitized with ourselves and the equipment we will be using before we come in contact with the locals.