By: Mr. Phurba Sange Moktan
Emergencies like, Diarrhea, Cholera, Typhoid, Dengue, etc are major public health concern in Nepal. In a year of 2009, there was an outbreak of diarrheal diseases in several districts of mid and far western region of Nepal which claimed more than 300 innocent lives. This sound like unfortunate, however, is the result of ignorance.
Preparedness vs. Responses:
The risks of more than 80 % of communicable diseases like Diarrhea, Cholera, etc. can be prevented if proper attention is given to WASH promotion. Millennium Development Goal (MDG) has set goal to achieve 50 by 15 for water and Sanitation and Government of Nepal (GoN) has set goal to achieve 100 by 17. GoN has included right to water and sanitation under fundamental right on the draft constitution article 20(5). However, the challenging part is to implement it successfully. Similarly, wrong perception on community mindsets and dependent awareness among local people is creating emergencies on grass root communities. Furthermore, lack of ownership for the free goods distributed is deteriorating the situation. So far as the national scenario, mostly priorities are centered on response approaches rather than preparedness. Even Rapid Response Team from Government is seemed active during response but Pre-emergency preparedness is not much given priorities. Similarly, Grass root sensitization requires most. In addition, preparedness approach with continue campaigning and follow up to high risk periods can be keys to prevent outbreaks. Furthermore, “Total Sanitation” movement is much appreciated however along with that Healthy Community Movement is also very much crucial for the sustainable solutions.