Swekshya Neupane was the winner of this year’s YouthTime Global Forum with her project titled “Health for Women Community Leaders in Nepal”. This ambitious, young woman recently graduated from medical school in Nepal and has decided to use her skills to better the health of many throughout the disaster struck region.
Since the devastating earthquakes, occurring in April and May of 2015, many regions of Nepal have suffered from unnecessarily high mortality rates due to a lack of healthcare training in local individuals. Neupane has identified two key regions, Khokana and Bagmati, in which she aims to instigate a six month long program educating females in child health care.
After realising the magnitude of the mortality rate of children in Nepal, 54 out of every 1000 live births, Neupane has identified four ailments as the primary causes. These are: diarrhoea, pneumonia, malnutrition and malaria. Hence, Neupane plans to organise a series of workshops educating women about the causes and symptoms of these illnesses.
The project involves mobilising a team of young doctors to the aforementioned locations in order to present workshops. These workshops will teach women how to care for their sick children and include practical instructions such as how to prepare oral rehydration solutions within the home and how to administer anti-malarial tablets.
Throughout the next six months this initiative aims to reach 200 women, a number that is expected to grow exponentially in the long term. As Neupane explains: “If a woman from one family is educated she can pass that on to her children, her husband and her community.” Hence, the project is expected to become self-sustaining with further expansion planned for different regions of Nepal dependent on the success of this initial testing phase.
After winning the YouthTime Global Forum this October, Neupane has received a generous grant valued at $7 000 USD (70% of the project budget). This money will be allocated towards teaching materials and transportation costs for the team of medical instructors.
Neupane is grateful for this grant stating that; “Although I’m a doctor, I also consider myself a social entrepreneur. Since my childhood, I’ve always been active in social work, extra-curricular activities. Definitely, since I’m this profession, I would like to use my skill, my ability, because I can gather people, I can provide knowledge, I can do it for free but I don’t know about the people around me.” She sees this grant as instrumental in the establishment of her initiative and is eager to begin training sessions with the local females.
This project is set to commence in January of 2016 and will hopefully bring about the dawn of an age of hope within Nepal.
For more information about Neupane and her initiative visit:
written by Sofia Arthus- Schoppe
edited by Alisa Sophie Rasch
Photograph taken by Kseniya Segina, YouthTime Magazine