Addressing Access to Health Barriers in Nepal

In rural and remote areas of Nepal, significant barriers to access to health exist, including lack of health facilities and inconsistent quality of care, as well as worsening inequalities between caste/ethnic groups. With the addition of the COVID-19 global pandemic, health services in Nepal’s Madesh Province were severely disrupted and risk of infection was high due to open borders, international commutes and lack of accurate information.

In November 2021, the Astellas Global Health Foundation awarded a $450,000 grant to World Vision to support its COVID-19 Preparedness and Recovery project in three districts within Madesh Province. The project aimed to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the community through education efforts and equipping health facilities for both in-patient and at-home care for COVID-19.

Education efforts, which reached more than 130,000 people in the region included activities such as:

  • Mass media campaign - radio advertising for COVID-19 prevention and vaccine adoption messaging
  • “Miking” to disseminate messages on the streets using carts with signs and speakers
  • Mobilization of community health volunteers and health workers to share information through informal group and mothers’ meetings
  • Providing hygiene kits to frontline health workers, people with disabilities and children

In addition to education efforts, World Vision set up mobile vaccination camps to reach more than 1,500 people, focusing particularly on pregnant and nursing women, people with disabilities and senior citizens in areas where vaccination sites are not accessible. World Vision equipped (18) and staffed (23) additional vaccination sites, which provided vaccinations to more than 18,500 people. Furthermore, World Vision was able to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and COVID-19 antigen tests, as well as home isolation kits to local health facilities.

Since September 2020, the Astellas Global Health Foundation has directed more than $2.75 million in funding to help improve organizations’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic in vulnerable and hard-to-reach communities. This includes two grants to World Vision, including the aforementioned funding, as well as an initial $350,000 grant to help World Vision scale up COVID-19 preventive measures, educational efforts, health systems improvements and training for workers serving at-risk residents in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Learn more.