KATHMANDU, June 23: The Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) is providing a grant support of Rs. 90 million (nine crores) for a three-year program in Dailekh, Surkhet, and Banke, the mid-western districts of Nepal, to improve the health of rural women, especially young mothers, youths and children.
The program, My Rights, My Voice, aims to increase awareness of health-related issues through health trainings to women and youths, community participation and mass media information campaigns in collaboration with the government and civil society alliances.
At the central level in Kathmandu, the program will be implemented in partnership with the Association of Youth Organizations Nepal (AYON) and Oxfam.
“Only 70 percent of adolescents in the country are aware of free health services which have been made available by the government for the past five years,” said Padam Raj Bhatta, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Population during the event organized by AYON to launch the program.
“Among the 70 percent, too, only five percent of adolescents have been accessing these health services. This program will greatly help to raise awareness among the rural communities,” he further added.
The SIDA program will also work with 18 schools, six in each district, directly benefiting 6,750 students between 12-18 years age as well as approximately 2,025 youths and 16,200 community women.
Overall, it is expected that the program will indirectly benefit over 75,000 people, more than 50 percent of them being women.