Nov 12, 2018

New Health Awareness Center at Rajbash

Dental Camp Staff
Dental Camp Staff

To intensify our efforts of health education beyond the outreach to local schools and outlying communities,  the Rajbash hospital has recently opened a Health Awareness Center directly at the hospital. This provides an opportunity for a health educator to use patient waiting time to explain a variety of health related information to patients and visitors. While we are still in the process of sourcing books, magazines, posters and short documentary films, we believe this will particularly help us to reach an older, uneducated population who may better understand visually presented material.

Maintaining good overall health is an ongoing challenge in poor rural areas of Nepal. In spite of our intensive health education efforts, sanitation still remains an issue for many of our patients. Thus, in late August/early September we saw another uptick in the number of typhoid cases which filled our small hospital to capacity. These patients in particular are deeply grateful to have access to the care of our little hospital.

Rajbash Hospital’s most recently held free Dental Camp on October 27th again was a roaring success. 137 patients of all ages walked from their villages and waited for hours to receive treatment. Nobody was turned away. Health educators used the long waiting times to teach patients about dental hygiene, both in groups and individually. This included demonstrations of proper brushing.

The important work of this hospital has been made possible through your ongoing financial support. Please continue to help us bring this often lifesaving care to these poor communities.

check up
check up
Brushing demonstration
Brushing demonstration

Links:

Sep 4, 2018

Still performing miracles

Rural trail birth
Rural trail birth

While the town of Rajbash has been busteling with construction projects, the Rajbash hospital continues to perform everyday miracles for the people of the region. That’s its mission and that’s what it does well. 

A miracle happened one afternoon in early July.  A relative of a patient called for our ambulance. A woman was in severe pain. Immediately our doctor and nurses packed the necessary medical equipment and got on the road. By the time they reached the town of Doramba the road condition was so bad they had to leave the car and start walking. Before they got very far they met the patient on the trail. She was in the final stage of labor pain and birth appeared imminent. Our team immediately took charge, made the woman comfortable right there on the trail and helped her to successfully deliver a little baby girl. Mother and child were then safely carried across the river where the ambulance was waiting to take them to the hospital. Although born prematurely, the little girl and her mother were in good health and released to go home soon after.

Our free health camps have been very popular with the families in our district. For the month of October we would like to organize another ‘Dental‘ camp.  The need for dental care is huge in the remote villages of our district and few are the people that can afford to seek care in Kathmandu or some other bigger town. However, bringing the machinery and filling materials from Kathmandu to the village is expensive. In order to make the treatments affordable we are attempting to coordinate with a dental hospital in Kathmandu, but the details remain to be worked out. 

In addition we’d like to bring back a group of Chinese doctors who held a very well received free acupuncture clinic for villagers at the Rajbash hospital last year. 

After some personnel changes our Outreach department is in firm hands again. Our efforts to distribute sanitary pads coupled with personal hygiene training to teen girls in our schools are continuing and expanding. This effort is super successful with teen girls and has resulted in a reduction of truancy because of the shame formerly associated with menstruation.

Our mother's groups continue to provide a forum for village women in their home environment, to share information with each other and to learn about health, hygiene and nutrition from an outreach worker. This provides not only for better health outcomes for families but also a social support network for the many young women that live in these remote places.

And now a last comment about the above mentioned construction activities: You may recall us telling you that the recent improvements on the road into Rajbash involved some widening of the road bed right below our pharmacy building. As you can see in some of the attached pictures a building crew has been busy shoring up our property against erosion toward the road. A solid stone retaining wall was erected between road and hospital. It not only secures the hospital property against further deterioration but also provides a security fence making it easier to control access to the hospital.

With gratitude for your support and involvement, Karin

Little forest girl
Little forest girl
Through the river toward ambulance
Through the river toward ambulance
Proud teens with new nappies
Proud teens with new nappies
Mothers' group in village
Mothers' group in village
Rajbash Hospital's new retaining wall
Rajbash Hospital's new retaining wall
Jun 12, 2018

Creative Collaborations

Eye Camp at Rajbash
Eye Camp at Rajbash

 

It is always inspiring to speak with the founder of the DCWC, Akka Lama. During his recent visit to the Himalayan Fair in Berkeley, CA, he explained at some length about how through collaboration with a wide network of connections we are able to greatly expand the impact of our small hospital in Rajbash. 

People who live at high altitude are at much elevated risk of losing their eyesight because of cataracts. During our recent Health Camps in Rajbash we identified 32 patients who were in need of cataract surgery. Our hospital is not equipped for, nor does it have the specialized staff to execute this surgery. To bring in a team of doctors would have proved complicated. So we investigated how we could safely bring our group of patients to a Hospital in Kathmandu where specialized service is available. Someone had contacts at a Tibetan temple in town. When we explained our mission and the dilemma we were in, the temple not only offered to house and feed our group of patients, but they also offered to sponsor our cataract project. Now we could advise our patients that help was on the way.

Our 32 patients walked in from their various mountain villages and assembled in the Rajbash Hospital courtyard. From there we transported them by bus to the welcoming nuns of the Tibetan temple in Kathmandu. They were given food and a place to bed down for the night as they waited with trepidation what the next day would bring. 6 patients, we discovered the next morning, overcome by fear of ‘having their eyes tampered with’ had left the temple during the night. The remainder assembled anew at the bus and made their way to the operating rooms of the Kathmandu hospital that was going to execute villages, were collected at the hospital and bused to Kathmandu to the hospital that was to execute the cataract operations. For recovery they spent another night at the temple. The next morning was magic: As patients carefully removed their bandages and were able to behold the beautiful blue sky there were tears of joy! Many had given up hope they could ever see again. They were filled with gratitude for the  precious gift of restored sight. The bus return to Rajbash was lively and filled with excited accounts of their outing to the big city.

Another collaboration, this one with a French Buddhist nun who had come to Rajbash and seen the important work that's being done there, connected us to a group of French medical and engineering students whose graduation requirements included an overseas service project. Having heard of the needs in Nepal and particularly in the small village of Rajbash, a number of them decided to volunteer their time in this community, helping at the hospital, in a nearby school and repairing the water system.  Once back home, the students decided to raise funds to sponsor five lucky  young women from Rajbash to attend college courses in Kathmandu, some in nursing, others in business. A single contact, and countless lives are touched! 

We hope that you are as awed by this kind of ingenuity as we are. If you would like to offer a collaboration to benefit our charity we would love to talk to you.  And all of this is made possible thru your generous ongoing donations. 

 

Eye exam at Rajbash
Eye exam at Rajbash
Patients at Gompah before surgery
Patients at Gompah before surgery
Patients at Gompah after surgery
Patients at Gompah after surgery
smile after surgery
smile after surgery
volunteers helping with washed out road
volunteers helping with washed out road
 
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