Earthquake Relief in Nepal

by International Medical Corps
Play Video
Earthquake Relief in Nepal
Earthquake Relief in Nepal
Earthquake Relief in Nepal
Earthquake Relief in Nepal
Earthquake Relief in Nepal
Earthquake Relief in Nepal
Earthquake Relief in Nepal
Earthquake Relief in Nepal
Earthquake Relief in Nepal
Earthquake Relief in Nepal
Earthquake Relief in Nepal
Earthquake Relief in Nepal
Earthquake Relief in Nepal
Sean supports our emergency relief effort in Nepal
Sean supports our emergency relief effort in Nepal

International Medical Corps’ earthquake response in Nepal has come to a close. International Medical Corps’ services reached some 765,000 people in its work supporting both the relief and recovery of earthquake-affected populations. 

To continue supporting International Medical Corps’ emergency efforts, please visit “A Healthier Future for South Sudan’s Families” project, where our teams are responding to the recently declared famine.

https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/a-healthier-future-for-families-in-south-sudan/

International Medical Corps’ Emergency Earthquake Response in Nepal

“I arrived on the afternoon of April 24, with my friend Claire. The next day, while we were exploring the ancient capital of Bakhtapur along with a Nepalese friend, Ajay, the largest earthquake in more than 80 years hit Nepal. We were almost crushed by a falling building and spent the rest of that day sprinting through Bakhtapur’s narrow streets, running from square to square through the destroyed 800-year-old city, to escape the recurring terror of the aftershocks. We walked for several hours and eventually made our way back to our hotel, which had partially collapsed, and set up camp,” recalls Sean, our Emergency Response Coordinator, who happened to be vacationing in Nepal.

Sean is referring to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the country on April 25, 2015. Over 350 4.0 magnitude or greater aftershocks hit in the months that followed, including a 7.3 magnitude quake and 6.3 magnitude quake on May 12, 2015. Some eight million people were affected – about the populations of Boston, Chicago, Paris and Dubai combined.

Sean continues, “That same evening, we started mobilizing International Medical Corps’ response. We were joined by a handful of strangers-cum-friends who shared our campsite and who wanted to help. Over the days that followed, more staff and volunteers arrived, and our response scaled up; we chartered helicopters to reach the most remote villages, and we worked to bring safe water and sanitation facilities to displaced persons living in camps in Kathmandu and in destroyed villages around the epicenter.”

Since the start of our response, we have partnered with local actors to address needs in more than 140 villages and municipalities across 12 districts to build back stronger. During the two years which followed, together we supported more than 115,000 people with access to physical therapy care, reached some 17,000 men, women, and children with hygiene promotion activities to prevent disease, established 7 stabilization centers to support more than 210,000 children with nutrition and medical care, provided mental health and psychosocial support services for some 3,000 people, educated 8,700 community members on sexual and reproductive health, and more.

With your generous and timely support and support from other donors, between April 2015 and May 2017, we reached some 765,000 people men, women, and children with relief and recovery services following the quake in Nepal. We thank you for your continued support as we work to assist those in urgent need anywhere, anytime, no matter what the conditions. 

Reconstruction at Dharmasthali Health Post
Reconstruction at Dharmasthali Health Post
Physical therapy services (taken by Omar Havana)
Physical therapy services (taken by Omar Havana)
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Shambu stands in front of his home today
Shambu stands in front of his home today

On April 25th, 2015, Shambu boarded an early morning bus to attend a training in Kathmandu, Nepal. He remembers the moment the ground started shaking, how the bus came to a halt, and how all the passengers were screaming and crying. When the earthquake stopped, he tried to get back to his village, Mulpani, but the destruction made travel almost impossible. Then Shambu received a message from a friend that his home had collapsed and that much of the village was levelled. When he finally made it back home, he saw people crying and digging in the rubble for loved ones. He started to do the same, and with his neighbors, they found the bodies of Shambu’s wife, son, and nephew.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake was one of the strongest to ever strike Nepal, and over 350 aftershocks of 4.0 magnitude or higher continued to rock the country for weeks, including a major 6.3 earthquake on May 12th. Some 8,000,000 people were affected, and 1,147 health facilities were destroyed or damaged. Within hours, International Medical Corps’ Emergency Response Team was on the ground, and in the weeks that followed, we provided 4,547 health consultations. Our mobile medical units traveled by foot, car, donkey and even helicopter to reach 27 remote villages.

The day after the earthquake, Shambu and his neighbors buried his family, along with the 19 other residents lost in the earthquake, and then he started working to help his village recover. Shambu knew first-hand about the struggle with grief and psychological pain following the disaster, so he volunteered as a community psychosocial worker. Along with our implementing partners in Nepal, our teams have provided mental health and psychosocial support services to 2,881 Nepali men and women, and more than 9,300 people participated in psychosocial activities to improve well-being. Our teams also provided 78 health facilities with psychotropic medications and integrated mental health services to help the people of Nepal recover from the long-lasting effects of the earthquake.

Nearly two years since the earthquake, Shambu continues to experience overwhelming feelings of loneliness, and he has nightmares about his wife and son, but his formal training and experience as a community psychosocial worker help him get through the hard times. He has learned valuable coping methods, and he realizes the contributions that he’s making to his community’s recovery.

International Medical Corps would like to thank the GlobalGiving community for your continued support of the people of Nepal.

Practicing relaxation techniques
Practicing relaxation techniques
Shambu training community health volunteers
Shambu training community health volunteers
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Kapana holds her daughter, Kumari, for a check-up
Kapana holds her daughter, Kumari, for a check-up

Kumari was only five months old when her mother, Kapana, brought her to an International Medical Corps nutrition center in Nepal. Kumari was born with a cleft lip and palate, which made breastfeeding difficult. Kapana knew that Kumari was smaller than most children her age, but she did not realize that her daughter had developed severe acute malnutrition, a condition which can cause physical and mental development disorders. Kapana said, “I would have never known my child was suffering from malnutrition if this program had not come to our community.”

Kumari was not yet born when the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on April 25, 2015, but her country is still reeling from the effects. In the months that followed, the people of Nepal experienced hundreds of aftershocks, including two major earthquakes in May 2015, causing further damage to infrastructure and services. An estimated 1 in 8 homes were damaged or destroyed, and over 1,000 health facilities were damaged or destroyed. Mothers and babies had very little access to prenatal and postnatal care, and young children were especially vulnerable to malnutrition. To make matters worse, the earthquakes and subsequent landslides destroyed crops and affected the delivery of essential health and nutrition services throughout the country.

International Medical Corps was on the ground within hours of the Nepal earthquake, providing emergency health care and psychosocial support, as well as operating mobile medical units to reach even the most remote communities. More than a year later, we continue to work with local partners to treat severe malnutrition and related medical complications. Our nutrition teams operate 7 nutrition stabilization centers across Nepal, and, as a result, more than 200,000 children under five years-old have increased access to nutrition care.

For severely malnourished children like Kumari, our nutrition centers identify children who are at risk for malnutrition or who are already malnourished; work with mothers to stabilize weight loss and learn healthy feeding practices; and offer nutrition support and feedings to help children reach a healthy weight. Our nutrition support programs and regular checkups help children live happier, healthier lives. Kapana said, “The care I received from International Medical Corps made a real difference for Kumari and taught me a lot about proper care.”

We would like to thank the GlobalGiving community for your support as International Medical Corps helps Nepal build back stronger.

Our teams operate 7 nutrition centers in Nepal
Our teams operate 7 nutrition centers in Nepal
Young children have a higher risk of malnutrition
Young children have a higher risk of malnutrition
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Anjuta and Aashika wash their hands
Anjuta and Aashika wash their hands

Aashika and her best friend Anjuta attend school with some 300 other students, tucked into the hillside of rural Dhading region of Nepal, a few hour’s walk from the nearest town. They seem just like any other six year-old friends anywhere in the world, clasping hands wherever they go. Although they are still very young, the little girls have already experienced one of the worst natural disasters to ever strike their country. After the 2015 earthquake, their water supply was contaminated, and the nearest community with clean water was inaccessible due to landslides and damaged roads. Without clean water to drink or bathe with, Aashika and Anjuta could suffer from dehydration or risk disease and infection caused by contaminated water.

Dhading is a beautiful region of Nepal, which comes alive with lush greenery during the monsoon season, when drenching showers saturate the countryside and fill the area’s streams and rivers. But even though the land is saturated, with the devastation from the earthquake, the people of Dhading lack much of what they need for safe drinking water, including water access points, piping and reservoir tanks, and the knowledge of water management necessary to provide reliable, clean water year-round. Areas of Dhading were not alone – some 1.1 million people in Nepal were left without long-term access to protecting water sources.

With help from local partners, International Medical Corps has brought new water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities and associated learning programs to communities and local schools. For example, in Aashika and Anjuta’s community, our teams identified a local, untapped spring and built intake and filter systems, plus a reservoir storage tank capable of holding up to 6,500 liters of water. This new source now provides a direct supply of clean water to over 30 households and nearly 200 people.  

Most popular with Aashika, Anjuta, and their classmates at their school in Muralibhanjyang area is the new hand-washing station, which conveniently stands 27 inches high, a height that offers easy access for all students. “The new hand-washing place is better than the old one,” Aashika said as she reaches for the soap. Anjuta, humming a tune she learned at school as she washes her hands, explains, “We always use this song to help us remember all six steps,” referring to one of several child-friendly tools used to instill lifelong habits of proper hygiene practices in students.

In addition to providing hand-washing stations and lessons on their use, International Medical Corps is promoting a wider cleanliness and proper water-use campaign, in which student clubs take the lead in creating a hygienically clean, environmentally minded school. Students are learning to manage physical waste by segregating it into bio- and non-biodegradable bins. They are also learning how to manage waste water, using it to care for plants grown in the school’s garden. The produce is then sold to local communities. Our teams are installing new latrines to replace the existing dilapidated, unsanitary facilities, while student clubs help set—and then manage—latrine cleaning schedules and classroom cleanup days.

International Medical Corps’ school program is not just about clean hands, it is about a clean environment and lifestyle. The principal of the school has been pleasantly surprised by the change in student attitudes and the eagerness with which they have embraced their new responsibilities. “The students themselves have taken ownership,” he says. “They’ve become incredibly concerned about hygiene and water use. We have five and six year-olds immediately informing their teachers when soap runs out, and 10 and 12 year-olds eager to arrange cleaning duties. The level of self-management they’ve shown is impressive.”

The Dhading region is home to just a handful of the over 100,000 people, like Aashika and Anjuta, who benefit from similar International Medical Corps water, sanitation, and hygiene programs in Nepal. We thank the GlobalGiving community and other donors for their critical support to help the people of Nepal on their journey from relief to self-reliance.  

An older student helps her younger classmate
An older student helps her younger classmate
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Chandra can now walk with the support of a cane
Chandra can now walk with the support of a cane

In late October 2008, while celebrating Deepavali (a Nepali festival known as the “festival of lights”) with his family, 79-year-old Chandra felt a sudden loss of sensation in the right half of his body. Worried, his family rushed him to Kathmandu for treatment. The next day, Chandra found himself lying on the hospital bed, unable to move.

Chandra continued to struggle after numerous physical therapy and rehabilitation sessions in Kathmandu. “I had difficulty doing daily chores like cleaning, washing and self-grooming,” he recalls. These problems were compounded by limited mobility, which also affected Chandra psychologically, as they caused loneliness and low self-esteem.

Chandra visited International Medical Corps’ facility in Gorkha District, which provides outpatient physical therapy services. There, our trained physical therapists and nursing staff assessed and evaluated his condition, and developed a comprehensive rehabilitation plan for him. While Chandra thought he was destined to be bedridden, having completed three months of physical therapy with International Medical Corps’ staff, Chandra can walk with the support of a cane. He recalls the day he was able to walk again as one of the happiest moments of his life.

Following the 2015 earthquakes that devastated several areas of Nepal, Emergency Response Team’s surgeon Dr. Blitzer noted that, “People with complex wound problems will need care and rehabilitation for months.” In response to the ever-present need, International Medical Corps established rehabilitation and disability care services at the Gorkha District Hospital, reaching men, women and children injured by the earthquake as well as those facing long-term debilitating conditions. Today, we have reached more than 2,400 patients with physical therapy through our facility in Gorkha alone and we continue to strengthen and improve rehabilitation care in the earthquake-affected areas.

Chandra’s son, Sanjeev, recalls the day his father was able to walk again: “Early in the morning, he was strolling around the neighborhood and I could see his happy face greeting everyone because it was after a long wait that he was able to walk around independently. Now he can do his everyday activities unsupervised and loves to chat with other elderly men. I am grateful to International Medical Corps’ physical therapy team for giving my father his life back."

It is with the support of you and other generous donors that we can provide individuals with relief and recovery services like physical therapy and rehabilitation care following the earthquakes in Nepal. We thank you for your continued support. 

Photos taken by Omar Havana

Our staff created a rehab plan for Chandra
Our staff created a rehab plan for Chandra
Mobile teams reached remote quake-affected areas
Mobile teams reached remote quake-affected areas
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

International Medical Corps

Location: Los Angeles, CA - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Davis Nordeen
Los Angeles, CA United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

Still want to help?

Support another project run by International Medical Corps that needs your help, such as:

Find a Project

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.