ASHA is a group of young energetic people from different fields whose common interest is to achieve our vision which is Affordable and Sustainable Healthcare Access to everyone. It all happened because of the devastating Earthquake in Nepal, 2015. The earthquake brought lots of destruction to Nepal and the Nepali people, but at the same time it also revealed many pre-existing problems, one of which is lack of healthcare access in rural Nepal. We chose the name “ASHA” also because ASHA is translated as “hope” in the Nepali language.
ASHA for everyone
We believe in basic health rights, which means affordable and sustainable healthcare access for everyone.
Nepal is a mountainous country surrounded by the biggest countries in the world, India and China. Due to geographical conditions and political instability, the economic situation of the country has not developed enough, and as such it is classified as a Least Developed Country. The financial situation prevents its healthcare system from providing enough health care resources, especially in the rural areas. In addition, the road conditions remain poor in mountainous areas, and the transportation and distribution network also faces major problems.
Even though the government and various health care professionals are working hard every day to provide medical care as much as possible, it is difficult to deliver enough healthcare to all the people in Nepal. To maximize the potential of the health care system of Nepal, we consider it very important to maximize the efficiency of the healthcare activity and to properly allocate healthcare resources, especially under the pressure of resource limitations. It is necessary to consolidate and organize the currently disparate healthcare activities to improve the healthcare system and the quality of the nation’s healthcare, but in order to realize this, cooperation among healthcare providers must be improved.
To improve this cooperation, well-organized information management could provide one solution. In Nepal, medical institutions do not store medical records, and patients take them home with them. Some large medical institutions do store them, but the paper-based records are typically piled up in stacks and it is almost impossible to find and analyze the necessary information immediately. In addition, it is difficult for medical institutions and the government to cooperate in order to understand the current situation - such as when, where, and what kind of medical treatment is being provided and what else is necessary.
ASHA believes that we can support the government and medical institutions in providing Affordable and Sustainable Healthcare Access for everyone, by maximizing the potential to provide necessary healthcare with necessary information. We are trying to figure out what kind of resources the government should put into which medical institutions, connect tertiary and community hospitals in regards to the treatment which they are providing.
To explore the needs of the local healthcare field by organizing healthcare-related information, and to connect needs with resources.
In order for the Nepalese government and various medical institutions to provide Affordable and Sustainable Healthcare Access, we as ASHA aim to provide the following types of support, aiming also to fix the various problems existing in the Nepalese medical field and to provide better health and medical care.
We as ASHA are creating a framework in order to manage and utilize healthcare information easily through the introduction of “ASHA fusion”.
“ASHA fusion” is software created for the purpose of collecting and utilizing necessary information, targeting activities such as health camp examinations in remote areas and provision of medical examinations in regional healthcare institutions where adequate medical information is lacking.
It was developed specifically with the consideration of being easy to implement and run on the devices available in these local areas, and also aiming to be accessible and user-friendly to local healthcare professionals.
Accessibility and user-friendliness is the main focus under which this software was developed.
“ASHA fusion” has the following characteristics:
The ASHA Nepal Project uses “ASHA fusion” to achieve the following objectives.
Sandeep Shakya is a medical doctor and co founder of ASHA Nepal. He is currently working as an Interventional Cardiologist in Asahi General Hospital. He received his MD from Tokyo Medical and Dental University in 2008. After working as a busy clinician at a tertiary hospital in rural Japan, he realised the need of “Prevention” and Public Health Approach to the disease and joined the school of public heath, University of Tokyo in 2015. His interests are treatment and prevention of non-communication diseases. He is also in-charge of clinical research for residents at the Asahi General Hospital.
Yoshifumi Nin is the co-founder of ASHA and currently working for a consulting firm. He graduated from Akita International University in 2015 with 1 year working experience at a mobile phone company, 1-year study abroad at the US and internship at WHO South East Asia Regional Office. He was admitted to the School of Public Health at the University of Tokyo, majoring in mental health. He also joined an interdisciplinary program with Sandeep and launched "ASHA Nepal Project" with the support of the program together. He is currently working on projects related to health care and agriculture in Japan.
Yuichiro Tsuchiya is the Vice President and the chief engineer of ASHA. He is organizing the ASHA team with Sandeep and Yoshifumi, and also leading the development of their software, "ASHA fusion". He is currently working as a software engineer at an IT company in Tokyo. He graduated from the University of Tokyo. After graduation, he participated in the MITOU program held by The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan and was awarded and recognized as an expert engineer of the year for his achievement in the program.
Prakash Shakya is a medical doctor from Nepal. He is currently a post-doctoral researcher at Kyorin University, Tokyo and visiting scientist at The University of Tokyo. He completed his PhD in global health from Department of Community and Global Health, The University of Tokyo in 2017. Before coming to Japan in 2012, he worked in a remote and rural government hospital of Nepal for two years. His research interests are migrants’ health and systematic reviews in health care research. His current research project is about TB and HIV among foreign migrants in Japan.
Dipendra Gautam is a medical doctor from Nepal. He is currently a graduate student at The University of Tokyo. Before coming to Japan he worked at a government hospital of Nepal for two years. He has special interest on mHealth and social security (Health insurance). He is also working on improving migrants health. His current research is on migrants mental health.
Pharping Project コーディネーター。横浜市立大学（生命医科学専攻）卒業後、秋田大学医学部医学科に学士編入、現在在学中。以前の大学時代より様々な途上国を訪問。ASHAでは2018年3月インターン生としてネパールを訪問、後Pharpingという町にあるパートナー病院MMCHに滞在。以降、現地との連絡担当を務め、2018年7月よりプロジェクト全体を管理するプロジェクトコーディネーターに就任。MMCHでは、日本のお好み焼きをモデルとした新料理「Asami-yaki」を披露し、その名を病院中に広めたという伝説を持つ。
2017年度よりASHAのインターンとして活動しており、現在はRajpur Project中心に担当。本業は大学院生で、日本体育大学 保健医療学研究科 救急災害医療学コースに在学中。救急救命士であり、大学院に通いながら救命救急センターで救急救命士としても医療に従事。世界一の救命率を持つ米国シアトルの病院前救急システムを学び、先進国と途上国とのギャップを感じ、救急救命士の視点からも”医療へのアクセス”の問題に関心を抱き、途上国の保健医療や病院前救急医療に関して研究中。
ミシガン大学をニューラルネットワークと応用物理の専攻で卒業。大学時代セネガルや内モンゴル等に渡航したのがキッカケで、将来IT技術やソフトウエアを通じて途上国の発展や課題解決に貢献したいと思い、2017年に特定非営利活動法人ASHAにエンジニアとして入らせて頂きました。2018年にRajpur Projectの立ち上げ等のために初めてネパールに渡航し、現在は主にASHA Fusionソフトウエアの開発に関わらせております。本業は都内のWeb企業で機械学習・ソフトウエアエンジニアを勤めており、現在主に関心のある技術はJS、 GoLang、アルゴリズム、関数型言語です。今後はASHA FusionのAndroidアプリを開発する予定です。
We deeply appreciate the warm support we received from the following individuals through crowd funding.
In addition to those above, we have been receiving support from many kind individuals.
Thank you very much.