Nicaragua suffered a terrible civil war in the 1980s. The city where I was born was one of the main centres of the conflict. Consequently, I grew up amidst political instability and economic hardship.
Witnessing the vast unmet needs of our population inspired me to volunteer for several projects committed to improving health and sanitation in remote communities of Nicaragua.
I serve as a UN Volunteer in Laos focusing on public health issues, which I have always felt passionate about. I work towards ending three diseases that can have fatal outcomes for the people of Laos.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of the most malnourished countries on earth, with over 4.6m children acutely malnourished, including 2.2m children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. The country is also facing an epidemic of sexual violence. Spiraling humanitarian needs and the rapid escalation in grave protection violations against women and children in the DRC should be of concern to everyone.
During 2017, nearly 250 UN Volunteers worldwide served in assignments that are clearly linked to medical professions. They bolstered the work of 23 UN partner entities, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA), UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UNAIDS, as well as 13 UN peacekeeping missions. Through their assignments, they contribute significantly to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3, which targets achieving healthy lives and wellbeing for all.
As an international UN Volunteer specialized in communication, Catalin was one of the first people to be sent to Cox’s Bazar to document the response of WHO Bangladesh. “Prior to the escalation of this crisis, there were already established partnerships between WHO, the government and other health partners. With the massive influx of people from Myanmar, strategies had to be adapted to this critical situation,” explains Catalin.
For the past ten years the volunteers have remained true to their calling as rescuers, offering emergency medical aid to those in need. Dr. Abdulkadir Abdirahman Adan, the founder of the 24-hour free ambulance service in Mogadishu, says he was motivated to start the voluntary service by the deplorable state of health services in the city.
Volunteer Sonali Rani Das works as a nurse and has been a member of the mobile medical team since 2011. Currently the team is seeing 200 patients a day, all presenting complaints about the recent catastrophic floods that hit Bangladesh.
We are seeing a lot of women and children. They have problems like skin infections, eye infections, scabies, diarrhoea and asthma. We have even seen snake bites. When I see the children, I take the mother’s blood pressure and check her over too,” she explains.
29 United Nations Volunteers Medical Doctors (General Practitioner) provide their support to the Ministry of Health Trinidad and Tobago. Health care delivery in Trinidad and Tobago is patterned after the British Firm system where health care is provided through major hospitals, smaller regional hospitals as well as health clinics, which service the out-lying areas.
During the first UNV Partnerships Forum that took place in Bonn, on September 30th and October 1st 2014, eight UN Volunteers were given the floor to share their experience as UN Volunteer. In this video, International UN Volunteer Bip Nandi, tells about his challenges and experience as surgeon in Malawi.
In February 2014, 25 community volunteers were trained within the UN Joint Programme "Sustaining livelihoods affected by the Aral Sea disaster" to improve awareness on tuberculosis and other chronic respiratory diseases among the population of five districts of Karakalpakstan.
This year, 75 such trainings will take place, and 1,500 volunteers will be trained within the programme.
World Health Day is celebrated every year on 7 April to mark the importance of health for people to be productive and happy. The day, which marks the founding of the World Health Organization, provides an occasion to draw worldwide attention each year to a subject of major importance to global health.