Hugh Thomas is a locum GP and Out of Hours doctor in East Sussex and a public health teacher at St George’s, University of London.
Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world, with a population of 29 million living mainly in remote rural areas, with very limited health care provision and the very high maternal mortality rate a major challenge. Government and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are working together to improve things, with at present only around 1 in 5 births having a skilled birth attendant at the delivery and very limited antenatal care.
Practical Help Achieving Self Empowerment (PHASE) started work in Nepal in 2005 and seeks to help Nepalis by setting up local schemes to improve literacy and education, agriculture, sanitation and health care. But what can a GP offer on a short (usually around 2 weeks) visit?