The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (“the College”) is proud to support Edinburgh-based charity EMMS International, which launched its vital “Every Girl Matters” campaign on Friday 20 November.

The campaign aims to improve healthcare in rural Nepal and help young girls continue in education – and it is backed by the UK Government, which will match all donations from the public, pound for pound.

Chronic sickness in rural Nepal causes unnecessary pain and suffering and places a huge burden of care on young girls like Sunita, who left school after both her mother and father became ill and were unable to care for themselves.

The project will extend quality palliative care and access to essential pain relief to 20,000 families in rural Nepal. With their loved ones well cared for, 1,646 young carers can return to school and enjoy the hope education brings for them and their communities.

Caption: EMMS-funded palliative care centre for excellence in Pokhara, Nepal. Image courtesy of EMMS International.

The College is backing EMMS International’s call on the public to support and donate to the campaign and give girls like Sunita a chance to fulfil their aspirations by returning to school, safe in the knowledge that her loved ones are receiving the care they need.

The campaign was launched in an online event featuring the opening of a new EMMS-funded palliative care centre for excellence in Pokhara, Nepal, which will also be the base for this new 3-year project.

Dr Conor Maguire, vice-president (international) of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, recorded a message for the online launch. He said:

We are very proud to lend our support to EMMS International’s Every Girl Matters campaign. It is important now, more than ever given today’s global climate, to step up our efforts to ensure accessible healthcare for those who are hardest to reach and who are most affected by poverty – especially since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Three years ago, the College partnered with EMMS International in their UK Aid match, the Chifundo Project in Malawi, to integrate palliative care services to the health service, and develop palliative care in every district in the country. An article in the Herald newspaper, described the impact of the Chifundo project as ‘a revolution in palliative care’.

Best practise and lessons learned from this project have helped shape the Every Girl Matters campaign where EMMS International are systematically developing the same level of training, evidence and quality in palliative care. It is vital that EMMS International receives public support for their great work.

Dr Cathy Ratcliff, CEO and Director of International Programmes, EMMS International said:

Every Girl Matters, and their education is a human right. But it’s also a joy, a means to understand the world; and it leads to better opportunities, increased independence and improved self-esteem. This campaign and match funding from the UK Government, give us all an opportunity to release girls and other young carers in Nepal from the burden of care.

Through the work of EMMS International, I have come across women who, because of the education they have received, are confident and thriving in life, love and happiness. This project restores such opportunities through protecting girls’ education and giving more women the opportunity to gain specialist healthcare training.

Notes: 

1. The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh is a Medical Royal College based in Scotland. It is one of three organisations that sets the specialty training standards for physicians in the United Kingdom. It was established by Royal charter in 1681. The College has over 13,000 Fellows and Members worldwide.

2. EMMS International is a Christian international healthcare charity based in Edinburgh and was founded in 1841. It counts Dr David Livingstone among its earliest members, and today delivers healthcare projects in Nepal, Malawi and India.

3. UK Aid Match brings charities, the public and the UK Government together to change the lives of some of the world's poorest and most vulnerable people. UK Aid Match is managed by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the UK Government and gives the public a say in how aid money is spent by matching their donations pound for pound.