Inspired by Family: A Medical Voyage — Still Not Quite There!
Kathmandu- About Six decades ago, a child is running barefooted to his school, not wanting to be late and eager to study, he arrives in his very ordinary class with an extraordinary dream …
Born on 16th April, 1964 in Janakpur, Prof. Dr. Anjani Jha’s educational journey is a testament to the enduring influence of family and his unwavering commitment to healthcare in the nation.
His father, the late Shivram Jha, a revered Sanskrit teacher, played a pivotal role in shaping his early years. Dr. Jha’s initial schooling unfolded under the same roof where his father imparted knowledge, creating cherished memories of guidance and wisdom.
From an early age, Dr. Jha basked in the aura of his father’s esteemed reputation, with dreams of emulating his goodness. Sports, particularly Kabbadi and football, added another dimension to his school days, earning him various accolades and awards.
Motivated by his mother’s dream, Dr. Jha set his sights on becoming a doctor. Following his brother’s counsel, he completed his 10th grade ‘SLC’ at Saraswati School in Darbhanga from Bihar, India and did his 12th grade ‘ISC’ from RR Campus Janakpur before venturing to Kathmandu for MBBS.
Financial obstacles prompted him to apply for MBBS in Bangladesh, where he overcame hurdles to complete his degree at Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College.
Upon his return to Nepal, Dr. Jha contributed to Tribhuvan university ‘teaching hospital’ before joining Patan Hospital. Furthering his expertise, he pursued cancer training in Australia and obtained an MD in Radiotherapy from Manipal Medical College in India.
Fulfilling his mother’s dream, for the past 18 years, he has served as a Radiation Oncologist at BP Koirala Cancer Hospital in Bharatpur, providing crucial treatment services to numerous cancer patients.
Reflecting on his journey, Dr. Jha pays tribute to his father’s sacrifice and cherishes the legacy of his honest work. His father’s influence propelled him to the presidency of the Nepal Medical Association from the year 2012 to 2015 and subsequently as the Chairman of Nepal Health Research Council from the year 2015 to 2019 where he made significant contributions to health sector research.
Currently, as the Vice Chairman of the Medical Education Commission, Dr. Jha remains dedicated to improving the medical field through his honest and hard work.
He is working tirelessly to make healthcare accessible and affordable to all, particularly demanding the inclusion of the lower strata of society in our basic healthcare infrastructure. Dr. Jha says while the people who have spent their whole life in cities might be oblivious to the problems of the poor and unprivileged, there are still many remote villages and even small towns that are still to this very present day completely cut off from the healthcare grid.
Since Dr. Jha has spent most of his early life in one of such remote villages, he empathizes with their problems and needs. Watching closely the struggles of such neglected people in the eyes of the government, he has made it his life goal to provide them with the basic rights of life that any other privileged citizen in this nation has.
Along with promoting accessibility to healthcare, Dr. Jha also believes in the power of a quality medical education, he says like him there are many more hardworking and deserving medical aspirants in all those places where you would least expect it from.
And, it may look like there is no cost effective and timebound solution to this for a third world country like ours, but Dr. Jha says there are many potential government hospitals that have the means to be converted into sustainable medical colleges and education centres.
In this way, we won’t be starting from zero, but instead utilize the already available infrastructure and intellectuals to guide our nation more swiftly into this voyage.
Expanding medical colleges and hospitals in such regions is the least we can do as a nation to give wings to our future generations, contributing to a healthy Nepal of the future.
… not barefooted anymore, Dr. Jha is still running strong, and he says he is still not quite there!