IVD 2016’s theme #GlobalApplause – give volunteers a hand, recognizes volunteers worldwide and all they do in making peace and sustainable development a reality.
Similarly, The 13th Female Community Health Volunteers’ Day is celebrated across the country by organizing various activities in community level health institutions with the slogan of “महिला स्वास्थ्य स्वयं सेविकाको निस्वार्थ सेवाः स्वस्थ, समृद्ध राष्ट्र निर्माणमा टेवा”
Recognizing the importance of women’s participation in promoting health of the people, GoN initiated the Female Community Health Volunteer (FCHV) Program in FY 2045/46 (1988/1989) in 27 districts and expanded to all 75 districts of the country in a phased manner. Initially, the approach was to select one FCHV per ward regardless of the population size. Later in 2050 (1993/94) population based approach was introduced in selected (28) districts. All together there are 51,470 FCHVs in the country (47,328 FCHVs at rural/VDC level and 4,142 at urban/municipality level). FCHVs are selected by members of Mothers’ Group for Health (MG‐H) with the help of local health facility staff.
Explanation of logo:
When a small pebble is thrown into a pond, it creates a wave, which gradually spreads all over the surface of pond. Similarly, the activities of FCHV starts at ward level and gradually spreads to VDC level. Subsequently, the district will be covered with such actions and ultimately, whole nation will be developed through FCHV’s action The innermost circle shows that the action starts at community or ward level by individual FCHV, (as community is the center of health activities) Second circle shows the action is spread in the enti re VDC Third circle depicts whole district will be covered by FCHV’s actions The outermost circle shows that the action of FCHV will cover the whole nation. ——————————–National Female Community Health Volunteer Program Strategy
They are provided 18 days basic training in two phases (9+9 days) on selected primary health care components. After completion of basic training, FCHVs are provided with a certificate and medicine kit box consisting of necessary drugs and supplies free of cost. They are also provided with manuals, flip chart, ward register, IEC materials, FCHV bag, signboard and identity card. Family Planning devices (pills and condoms only to FCHVs) Iron tablets, Vitamin A, and ORS are supplied regularly through local health facility.
The major role of the FCHV is to advocate healthy behaviors of mothers and community people to promote safe motherhood, child health, family planning, and other community based health promotion and service delivery. FCHVs distribute condoms and pills, ORS packets and vitamin A capsules, treat pneumonia cases and refer and serious cases to health institution along with motivation and education to community people. Similarly, they also distribute iron tablets to pregnant women.
Various policies, strategies and guidelines have been developed to strengthen the FCHV program. Numerous factors influence the program including national health sector reform, decentralization and handing over of health facilities to VDCs, experience gained from program implementation, and the recognition to FCHVs in reduction of maternal and child mortality and general fertility through continuous implementation of community‐based health programs in Nepal.
Government of Nepal (GoN) is committed to increase the moral & participation of FCHV in community health development. In fiscal year 2064/65 MoH established FCHVs fund by providing cash support of Rs. 50,000 to each VDC. The mobilization of this fund for income generation activities is expected to benefit the FCHVs and the community at large.
The goal of FCHV program is to support national goal of health through involvement of community in public health activities. This includes imparting knowledge and skills for empowerment of women, increasing awareness on health related issues and involvement of local institutions in promoting health care.
FCHV program has the following objectives:
- To prepare a pool of self‐motivated volunteers as a focal person to bridge health programs with community
- To prepare a pool of volunteers to provide community based health services
- To activate women to tackle common health problems by imparting relevant knowledge and skills
- To increase the community participation in improving health
- To develop FCHV as a motivator for health
- To increase utilization of health care services through demand creation.
Role of FCHV
- The main role of FCHV will be concentrated on the health promoti onal activities of mothers and children in their working area. Besides, they will also help in promoti ng uti lization of available health services and raise awareness on health through MGH
- FCHV will help in various health programs such as family planning, safer motherhood, newborn care, immunizati on, nutrition, communicable and epidemic diseases, acute respiratory diseases and diarrheal diseases control, environmental sanitation, health education and other national programs
- FCHV will also provide recommended services like drug distribution and diseases management as directed by Nepal government based on community based approach
- Other health programs also might involve FCHV through their guidelines. However, the involvement of FCHV in other programs should be mandatorily endorsed by central level FCHV Coordinati on sub-committee.
- FCHV has to submit an annual report to local health institution and her MGH.
- FCHV has to submit a monthly report of her activities to local health worker or supervisor every month
- FCHV can be selected by her respective MGH for a term of 5 years
- FCHVs are entitled to abide by the code of ethics.
Source of Info: DoHS, Annual Report 2071/72 (2014/2015), National Female Community Health Volunteer Program Strategy