FAIRMED's Global Work
FAIRMED took its first step towards global health by working in the field of leprosy. In 1959, members of the 'Friends of Emmaus Bern’ found the “National Committee for the Lepers”. This organization began its fight against leprosy in Cameroon, India and Tanganyika (now Tanzania). By 1964, the organization had spread its support to 60 leprosy stations in 28 countries. The work gradually increased as the organization constructed more leprosy stations, which were staffed with its own doctors, nurses and therapists.
At the first International Congress in Berlin in 1897, it was agreed that leprosy was incurable. It took years to overcome these assumptions around leprosy and to realize that leprosy is curable. Working within this renewed aspect/parameter, FAIRMED put its foundation stone in the sector of health.
A program component doesn’t operate in vacuum and it has its associated linkages with various other determinants. The development pattern cannot be constricted within a linear pathway. That is how while working with the focus on leprosy, FAIRMED came across other associated components like Leishmaniase, Buruli Ulcer etc. which covered the broad area of Neglected Tropical Diseases, and disability which is an outcome of these diseases. And binding all these fragments together was the underlying and universal element of “Health for the Poorest”.
FAIRMED in Nepal
The organization saw the prospect of being more intricately involved by working in Nepal in one of its mandate areas. As maternal and neonatal health would represent health of a marginalized community in the country, FAIRMED endeavored to work in this sector in Kapilvastu since 2011. That was the first step of FAIRMED in Nepal. The involvement and presence of the organization at the beginning was in a small scale, but through steady and gradual steps, has increased by being more sensitive and responsive to the government health system, which is already strategically strong, but could use support like ours.
The universal coverage and accessibility of quality basic health care services to all in Nepal is a daunting task, as it is a country with tough geographical terrains and sporadically scattered populations across the regions. To bridge this gap and support the government in its objectives FAIRMED began working in Nepal establishing a Country Office in 2015. Prior to this, FAIRMED was working directly with partner organizations from its headquarters. While working in Nepal, FAIRMED realized that there was a productive collaborative working environment with the Government, which would assist the target groups in accessing basic health care services and impacting on the quality of their lives.