Dr. Ashok Banskota, in the field
Drs. Ashok and Bibek Banskota, his son, and their hardworking team at the Hospital and Rehabilitation Center for Disabled Children never cease to impress us, but this year their expertise and resolve were tested as never before.
They mobilized the day after the earthquake, setting up emergency health camps in nine districts and opening the hospital doors to anyone, children and adults, who needed help — 24/7, for free. In the camps, they performed life-saving surgeries in tents, or outside, and provided everything from trauma care and mental health counselling to food, blankets, clothing, and 30,000 dignity kits filled with hygiene essentials to people who had lost everything. The camps, 98 in all, ended up offering relief and medical services to nearly 45,000 people.
Totally inspiring, but not surprising. Dr. Banskota’s utter dedication to healing is what led AHF to take a bet on him back in 1988. From our first meeting, our partnership grew. We followed him to a temporary children’s hospital he set up in a converted house, where the prosthetics were skillfully fashioned in the garage from PVC pipes. A few years later, in his quest to help more of Nepal’s most disadvantaged children, we helped him build “a real hospital”, the present HRDC. Since then, we have helped nurture it as it grew into the best pediatric orthopedic hospital in Nepal — with a network that reaches the poorest disabled children all over the country and trains more good doctors to carry on the work.
Over 66,000 mended children later, this partnership was a good bet. And now, as we finish repairs to cracked walls and broken pipes, and the young patients are being treated inside the hospital again, HRDC is back to doing what they are so impeccably good at — saving disabled children from a lifetime of suffering. And they do it all with compassion, patience, and a skilled hand.
Happy and healing at HRDC