In 2008 Nepal became the first developing country in which ACCF began operating. The program commenced with the vaccination of four girls. As the saying goes, from small seeds big trees grow and at that time the lofty objective was, within ten years, to vaccinate 1000 girls per year. With the establishment of the locally-incorporated Nepal Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation (NACCF), we worked with government and non-government organisations to facilitate community-based education and provide access to vaccines free of charge. Thanks to this partnership, we were able within seven years to vaccinate over 31,000 girls.
ACCF together with the local World Health Organization representatives actively lobbied the Nepalese Government to avail of a GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccination and Immunization) demonstration project. Following the successful conclusion of the demonstration project, the Nepalese Government decided to move to a phased introduction of a National Vaccination Program from 2019 or 2020. Implementation has been temporarily delayed because of the need to clarify bureaucratic requirements as Nepal moves to a federal system of government.
ACCF has continued to support NACCF and constructed and fitted out a women’s clinic in the town of Banepa, providing now an ongoing base for mobile screening camps and nurse and vaccinator training. NACCF (and previously as NNCTR - Nepal Network for Cancer Treatment and Research) have screened and treated thousands of women for cervical cancer across Nepal. The Banepa Clinic continues to provide treatment for women who have tested VIA+ (Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid) as well as to offer general screening and examination facilities.
We have also helped:
- Train over 400 doctors and nurses to carry out VIA testing, enabling a sustainable single visit approach to the screening and treatment of cervical abnormalities and cancer.
- Introduce Australian fundraisers and supporters to the wonders of Nepal, giving them a first-hand look at our lifesaving work on the regular ACCF Adventure Challenge.