It was a coincidence for me to have a comprehensive field practice in Pyuthan district and have a great time to visit the Puranthati Health Post with my team. It was a proud moment for me to meet the public health personnel, Mr. Balgopal Shrestha sir, and get an opportunity to know more about his work.
Shrestha is currently working as the in-charge of the Puranthati Health Post, Baraunla, Pyuthan. For his exemplary work and effort to improve public health service in Pyuthan district, he was recently awarded the Nik Simon Prize as the best health personnel of Nepal of this year.
He is a role model for all the health personnel to do their best from their own place. For the last 6 years, he has continuously been working to make strong community participation to take the quality service in the rural village with the available local resources. Not only the arrangement of medical equipment, laboratory services, and medicines, he is coordinating with the local health personnel too.
When we saw most of the corners of the health post, we found that there is proper mobilization and arrangement of available resources. He himself initiated to provide various health services to women, including providing toothpaste and brush to the health post visitors to Ante Natal Check-up (ANC) and delivery. Inspired by this initiative, other health personnel also started to arrange other materials like soap, nail cutter, nutritious foods like eggs, salts, etc. themselves to promote the institutional/health post-ANC check-up and delivery.
When I asked how he was successful to manage the 24-hour service in the health post, he mentioned that if there is a passion and interest to serve, it is not difficult to provide 24-hour service to the people. He further informed that he had received a positive response from Dr. Krishna Shah, District Health Officer of Pyuthan district to initiate this service. “And, achieving the national health award was possible because of the positive attitude of the health post staffs and community people,” he said with gratification.
“The service delivery in the health posts all over the nation would have been possible if there was a special supervision system, except the supervision with the adjustment of other programmes from the national level,” Shrestha shared.
Due to the topographical difficulties, there is a lack of access to transportation facilities as well as health services. But, with the initiation of laboratory service, the health post has seen an increased flow of patients, reaching a daily average of 25-30 patients. What’s unique in this health post is the proper management of waste disposal. Furthermore, the health post is going to be shifted to its new building soon. In a nutshell, Shrestha is a true reformer, and all the health personnel should learn from him.
By Kusum KC
The writer is a Bachelor level student of Public Health at National Open College. She is currently on a Comprehensive Field Practice of Public Health at the District Health Office, Pyuthan.