Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) has been providing health services to the targeted people through promoting hygiene and sanitation, and generating awareness on immunization, nutrition, family planning, infectious diseases and First Aid skills etc. Emergency First Aid (EFA) programme in conflict-affected areas and health in emergency programme is also initiated. Similarly, NRCS has also been providing eye care service in outreach and hospital settings, ambulance service, HIV and AIDS prevention, care and support services, blood collection, screening and supply throughout the country. NRCS has been applying community based approach in implementing health and care activities like First Aid (FA), Water and Sanitation, Community Development Programme (CDP), Primary Health Care (PHC) etc. Following programmes have been implemented throughout the period:
Blood Transfusion is solely mandated to NRCS by the Government of Nepal. NRCS has been operating blood transfusion service throughout the country. Its major activities are motivation of blood donors, blood collection, screening and supply of safe blood to the needy. Total 58 centres in 41 districts, one central, 3 regional, 22 districts, 15 emergency and 17 hospital based blood transfusion centres are functional.
Ambulance Service is one of the vital services of NRCS. 58 District Chapters and 44 sub-chapters have been running the service with 140 vehicles from 127 stations.
NRCS has also been providing preventive and curative eye care services mainly in Janakpur and Bheri zones. A 100 bedded eye hospital in Janakpur serves as referral hospital for the adjoining districts of the region. Over 100,000 eye patients are treated and over 12,000 surgeries are carried out annually in the hospital. 15 community eye care centres are operational in the country at the district level together with extensive community outreach in the mid-western region which provides eye services to the additional 150,000 patients. Other primary health care components are also integrated with eye care programme in mid-western region.
Other primary health care components are also integrated with eye care programme in mid-western region.
NRCS has been continuing its intervention in reproductive health though empowerment of youth and adolescents, health based literacy and family planning services in six districts of eastern region.
Community Development Programme primarily aims at building capacity of the vulnerable people through enhancing socio-economic status to improve health and livelihood. With focus on people's participation, the programme has been expanded to 35 districts by the year 2007, benefiting over 450,000 people. Additional 4 districts are also reached in the mid-western region with focus on health promotion benefiting over 80,000 people through similar programme.
First Aid activities are run by the NRCS since its inception. The Community Based First Aid (CBFA) programme has been implemented in 21 districts since 1997 with the view to build capacities of communities to manage common health problems and disasters.
Emergency First Aid (EFA) programme was also initiated to provide prompt and effective first aid services in 28 conflict-affected districts. First aid teams are established to provide first aid services, rescue and evacuation support in time of emergency, internal violence, natural disasters and other emergencies. Similarly, First Aid Training Standardization (FATS) programme is being implemented in 30 districts since 2003 with an objective of updating and standardizing the existing first aid course curriculum, trainings and IEC materials.
Drinking Water and Sanitation Programme has been implemented since 1983 with the aim of reducing mortality and morbidity caused by waterborne diseases. Community based WAT-SAN programme has been implemented in 18 districts, however, the school based water & sanitation programme in 43 districts. Likewise, school led total sanitation programme has been implemented in 120 schools of 6 districts. In order to address the existing traces of arsenic problem in the country, NRCS took initiation to determine the magnitude of the problem and rectify it in time. NRCS has conducted arsenic test in 19 districts and carried out mitigation measures in 10 districts with health survey and medical assistance so far.
Considering to the situation of HIV and AIDS and its spreading trend and dynamics in the country, NRCS has started the HIV and AIDS Prevention programme in 1994. The programme reached to 54 districts so far with focus to migrants and their spouses, young people in school and community, PLHIV and other people at risk. Starting with awareness generation, the focus in the recent years has been shifted to behavioural change, life skills promotion, and advocacy reducing stigma and discrimination as well as care and support for those who are infected and affected. NRCS has also developed a five-year strategic plan (2004-2008) in line with National HIV and AIDS Strategy.