KATHMANDU, Nov 30: In the bid to improve overall health coverage in big cities and municipalities, the government has decided to train more than 2,000 Urban Female Health Volunteers (UFHV) recruited two years ago.
Of the 4,721 volunteers recruited in 58 municipalities, four sub-metropolises and Kathmandu Metropolitan City, only 2,240 have received basic training. Officials at Primary Health Revitalization Division (PHRD) said the remaining 2,481 volunteers will be trained this year.
"All the remaining volunteers will get training this year. We have allocated the required budget for training allowances," said Madan Kumar Shrestha, senior public health administrator at PHRD. He said the volunteers will get basic health training.
Though there are big hospitals and nursing homes in the cities and municipalities, coverage of national health programs is low in the urban areas compared to coverage in villages. Shrestha said the overall coverage of immunization, antenatal and post natal care, nutrition program, among others, is less in cities compared to the villages.
The ministry of Health and Population also has provided financial assistance for the establishment of basic health infrastructures in municipalities.
"The government focused on villages, but the poor people who have migrated to big cities still remain deprived of basic health services,” added Shrestha. About 800 volunteers were employed in KMC only.
Officials at the Child Health Division (CHD) under Department of Health Services said it was challenging to reach out to the poor population in the cities. Dr Taranath Pokharel, director of CHD said the government agencies have been doing their best so as to ensure access of poor people to health services.