Nepal Live Group organizes 11th Swasthya Khabar Health Award  

NL Today

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Kathmandu: Swasthya Khabar Patrika, Nepal’s pioneer health magazine, held its 11th Swasthya Khabar Health Awards in Kathmandu on Friday to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to the achievement of health-related sustainable development goals. 

The award ceremony was conducted under the theme ‘SDGs: Health and Wellbeing for All.’ The awards were presented in ten categories, with nine of them aligning with the goal three of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). And, one category recognized an individual for contributions to health-related sustainable development goals as female community health volunteer.

In the category of Goal 3.1 – Maternal Mortality Reduction, Sushmita Bohora, a nurse from Chauganfaya Health Unit in Humla, emerged as the winner. Dr. Bishwanath Shah, a pediatrician at Bardiya Hospital in Gulariya, received the prestigious award for Goal 3.2 – Ending Preventable Deaths Under 5 Years of Age. 

The awards for Goal 3.3 – Fighting Communicable Diseases were bestowed upon Hemraj Joshi, the Vector Control Supervisor Officer at Sudurpaschim Health Directorate, and Dr. Mahesh Shah, the Medical Director of Anandaban Hospital. In the category of Goal 3.4 – Reducing Mortality From Non-Communicable Diseases, the winners were Kebal Singh Sarki, a Public Health Inspector at Dhansihapur Health Post in Tikapur, Kailali, and Deepak Risal, the Mayor of Gokarneshwor Municipality. In the category Goal 3.5 – Preventing and Treating Substance Abuse, the Aasara Drug Rehabilitation Center of Nepal Police was acknowledged for their exceptional work. 

Tek Prasad Bhandari, the Mayor of Swargadwari Municipality in Pyuthan, was recognized for his efforts to reduce road injuries and deaths in alignment with Goal 3.6. For Goal 3.7 – Universal Access to Sexual and Reproductive Care, Family Planning, and Education, Juhi Khatun, an Auxiliary Nurse Midwife at Bhaluwahi Health Post in Siraha, received the award. Dr. Arne Drews, Co-founder of NepalMed, and Shirley Heywood, a Gynecologist Surgeon at International Nepal Fellowship (INF), were the distinguished winners for Goal 3.8 – Achieving Universal Health Coverage. 

In the category of Goal 3.9 – Reduction of Illness and Deaths from Hazardous Chemicals and Pollution, Mahesh Nakarmi, Chairperson of the Health Environment and Climate Action Foundation, was recognized for his significant contributions. Lastly, the award for Contribution to Health-Related Sustainable Development Goals as Female Community Health Volunteer was presented to Sharmila Lingden, a dedicated Female Community Health Volunteer from Sidingwa Rural Municipality in Taplejung.

Speaking at the event, Siromani Dhungana, editor of Nepal Live Today, said the overarching objective of this award is to recognize and reward the exceptional achievements of healthcare professionals whose work has had a tangible impact on the healthcare outcomes of our nation. “It serves as a heartfelt expression of gratitude for your unwavering dedication, tireless efforts, and unwavering commitment to serving those in need.”

“As enshrined in the constitution of Nepal, the right to health holds immense significance, and as responsible media representatives, our team at Swasthya Khabar has been actively contributing to strengthening health at the local, provincial, and federal levels.”

Likewise, Gagan Kumar Thapa, member of parliament and former health minister, delivering his keynote speech, said “We have seen considerable increases in access to healthcare services in the last few decades, though the access is not equal across population sub-groups of different socio-economic and geographic attributes. The overall increase in service access, coverage and utilization has not been able to lead to desired outcomes, and we are still way behind our ambitions to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Poor quality has increasingly been acknowledged as a key issue hampering further progress in health outcomes, not just in Nepal but also in several other low-and middle-income countries.”

Besides conferring the award, Nepal Live Group also presented special recognition to the British Embassy in Kathmandu, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the World Health Organization for their contribution in Nepal’s health sector.

The Sustainable Development Goals not only serve as a global agenda but also represent a significant political commitment. With seven years remaining to achieve these targets, one of the 17 goals specifically focuses on “Good Health and Well-being.” This goal is dedicated to fostering a prosperous standard of living by guaranteeing a healthy life for individuals of all age groups.

PM Dahal said the government is committed to take the essential measures required to attain the objective of enhancing mental health, decreasing the mortality rate from non-communicable diseases by a third, and addressing the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of individuals dealing with substance abuse. Dahal also highlighted significant accomplishments in the management and control of diseases such as maternal and child mortality, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS.