19 August 2022

The challenging journey to reach Nepal's communities with vaccines

Doti District lies in a remote corner of far-western Nepal. Lush green meadows lie in the valleys here, beneath the hills that sweep their way through this region. As you look up from those valleys, you see communities in the distance, perched on top of the hills. Reaching those communities with health care services isn’t straightforward. Bringing…, A challenging journey, Every month, Basanta and her colleague, Tilak Raj Joshi, will carefully place vaccines into a carrier box in the cold room at their healthcare centre. They’re then faced with a difficult journey, often on foot. “Some of these places can take up to three hours to walk to, one way. The roads here are not paved, and taking vehicles can be dangerous,…, Communicating effectively about vaccines, Despite the challenges faced on the journey, Basanta believes it’s worth it. For her, it’s rewarding to see how positive people are in the municipality of Jorayal about vaccines. She believes that’s primarily a consequence of effective communication and counseling from health workers like herself, who build trust in these services. A routine…, A thankful community, Durga Ghartimagar is one of the mothers that is thankful for the long journeys these healthcare workers make to reach these communities. She knows firsthand what it’s like. Durga has walked over three hours to reach the vaccination clinic in the village of Upparkot, which lies in the Jorayal District. Durga Ghartimagar on the final stretch of her…, A mothers’ group meeting to build trust, To help build trust in vaccines in this community, there’s a monthly mothers’ group meeting. Female Community Health Volunteers or FCHVs facilitate conversations, which help to educate caregivers about the various aspects of child and maternal health. “It’s easy when everyone is there, in person, to talk about why children need to get these…, A robust cold chain is crucial, Getting vaccines to children in these remote communities requires a strong cold chain. The cold chain refers to a series of precisely coordinated events in temperature-controlled environments to store, manage and transport the doses. To facilitate this, UNICEF has been working closely with Nepal’s government and key partners like Gavi, to expand…