Lifesaving healthcare for remote farming villages

by DCWC Community Hospital
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Lifesaving healthcare for remote farming villages
Lifesaving healthcare for remote farming villages
Lifesaving healthcare for remote farming villages
Lifesaving healthcare for remote farming villages
Lifesaving healthcare for remote farming villages
Lifesaving healthcare for remote farming villages
Lifesaving healthcare for remote farming villages
Lifesaving healthcare for remote farming villages
Lifesaving healthcare for remote farming villages
Lifesaving healthcare for remote farming villages
Lifesaving healthcare for remote farming villages
Lifesaving healthcare for remote farming villages
Lifesaving healthcare for remote farming villages
Prepping to vaccinate
Prepping to vaccinate

Our report of May 27 must have left you with a sense of worry about our hospital and Nepal. We were in great need of oxygen and hospital beds to treat Covid patients and a sizable number of our staff was in quarantine.

Rescue came with a call from GlobalGiving UK advising that our project had been selected by the National Lottery Community Fund to receive a grant of 4,800 pounds for stemming the tide of Covid in Nepal. We were super excited about this totally unexpected help. The funds came just a we prepared for another wave of Covid infections. We were able to purchase additional hospital beds, oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators, a deep refrigeration unit for vaccines and patient monitors.

An additional emergency grant from GlobalGiving US together with donations from our sister organizations Love Nepal in the UK and Namaste Nepal in the Czech Republic enabled us to create a proper isolation ward for our Covid patients. 

While our regular hospital activities went on as usual, caring for our infectious patients required us to hire extra staff as well.

To provide meals for Covid patients we had to increase our kitchen staff and in order to transport sick patients an extra ambulance driver came on board. The government of Nepal delivered on its promise and supplied an additional nurse and 2 extra medical personnel to assist in the hospital.  Occupancy rate in the isolation ward at times has been as high as 16 patients whose treatment runs from basic care to oxygen to antibiotics to steroids. The Rajbash staff is proud to report they have only had one Covid fatality at the hospital.

One of our recent patients had sought Covid treatment at a private hospital in Kathmandu.  Three weeks of treatment produced no sign of improvement. He returned to his village expecting to die. Yet his family brought him to our hospital where, after another three weeks of care, he recovered and was sent home. To celebrate the man’s recovery the family butchered a goat and sent a large portion of the meat to the hospital for staff and patients. 

To close we have another piece of good news: The US and Japan have each donated 1.5 million doses of vaccine to Nepal.  Covid vaccinations are now being administered by government health posts. This allows the hospital to keep its focus on isolation and treatment of patients. 

We are deeply grateful for all the support we received and for the progress this support has allowed us to make in caring for the victims of this horrible pandemic.

Shipped hospital beds and oxygen concentrator
Shipped hospital beds and oxygen concentrator
Isolation Ward-patient and oxygen
Isolation Ward-patient and oxygen
patient awaiting room in isolation ward
patient awaiting room in isolation ward
Breathing therapy
Breathing therapy
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Vaccines back in march
Vaccines back in march

 

After a period of relatively low new Covid infections, Doctors in the country of Nepal were cautiously hoping the end of Covid was in sight. Then came the news that India was suffering a new, violent and fast expanding wave of Covid infections. As Nepal shares open borders with India it seemed only a matter of time before their population as well would be under siege again. Just a month ago Nepal, a nation of 31 million people was reporting about 100 Covid-19 cases a day. Last Tuesday it reported 9,483 new cases and 225 virus-related fatalities, the highest single-day death toll since the pandemic began. Scenes in India, of funeral pyres and people queuing outside hospitals, are being replicated in Nepal, where hospitals are running out of oxygen and turning away patients.

 

Our small hospital in Rajbash is overflowing with patients. 9 staff members out of a total of 12 are battling Covid and are in isolation. A teacher at the nearby school already died (a significant loss in this small village) and we are worried about more casualties. The hospital desperately needs more beds to accomodate newly infected patients needing isolation. We are also in dire need of oxygen and Covid tests, which are in extremely short supply since India, a major supplier of both, has stopped exporting to other countries as their own need is so great right now. 

 

While the government has had a dismal record of managing the pandemic (the prime minister has been forced to resign), they did commit to send a nurse and two more medical staff to Rajbash to help us through this challenging time.

 

We will keep you informed on this evolving tragedy as we receive updates from our friends in Nepal.  Thank you to all who have been a part of this vital project.

 

staff member getting tested
staff member getting tested
staff member getting tested
staff member getting tested

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School children  with new masks and information.
School children with new masks and information.

A year ago this month the United States just started to wake up to the realities of a pandemic, Covid 19. We were slow to realize the impact it was going to have on our country, our people, and how much death and suffering it would visit upon us. The pandemic moved at its own pace but in time would affect every country on the globe.The small Himalayan country of Nepal was not spared. Covid first started its spread in the few urban centers. Many people fled to their ancestral villages to find safety, however the virus soon caught up with them in remote areas as well.

As soon as the first cases appeared our Rajbash Community Hospital instituted measures to protect staff and patients with masks, PPE, social distancing, diligent hand washing etc.  A triage tent was erected on the hospital grounds to separate Covid patients from those being treated for other issues. Our nurses trekked into surrounding villages to identify Covid patients and to teach families how to safely care for themselves and their patients and keep them quarantined in their homes.

By the end of October DCWC met and created a plan to be more proactive and to provide Covid prevention training for the wider rural population we serve. We started by training local municipal staff, volunteers, teachers, and health workers. Those trained could then teach other local groups about infection prevention and management.  We felt great about the impact of our efforts, however soon we realized the toll this program was taking on our hospital budget. Everyone involved had to be paid and replenishing our stores of masks, PPE, thermometers and sanitizer all threatened to bring us to our knees.  Our inquiries for financial assistance with GlobalGiving had not been hopeful.  However, miracles do happen! One January morning we received word that GlobalGiving had decided to support our efforts with a  $ 15,000 grant!  Our efforts have been recognized and rewarded, and that is most gratifying. We had originally stepped in to help and had no plan for where the money would come from.  So for us , this is a tremendous validation of our efforts.

And now on March 7 a Free Covid-19 Vaccination Program was organized by the local municipality and coordinated by our hospital.  A total of 90 seniors citizens from various villages were vaccinated at our Hospital.  How very exciting and hopeful!

We are grateful to GlobalGiving and we are grateful for all of you supporters. We will continue to serve the people of rural Nepal with all of our energies.  If they could give voice to their gratitude, they would say a big “thank you”.

 

Karin and Patrick

 

 

small school group with supplies
small school group with supplies
Masked
Masked
Educators and Trainers
Educators and Trainers
Banner for Free Covid Vaccinations
Banner for Free Covid Vaccinations
Vaccination at DCWC Community Hospital
Vaccination at DCWC Community Hospital

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Today we would like to introduce Dr. Sameer who is currently the doctor at Rajbash hospital. Yet rather than me telling you about him I would like him to tell you his story directly. Afterwards I will provide some context about our dedicated doctors.

Hi, I am Dr. Sameer , a 27 year old aspiring graduate.  I was born in a middle class family of small village located in Province no. 3, Banepa-1, Kavrepalanchok district, Bagmati zone of Nepal.

Writing about my childhood, me and my sisters were grown up by working mother and grandmother as my father was far away from home for job. We didn't have luxurious life but they provided us whatever required for our education at any cost. My father has always known about the importance of education thus got my education in private school (Bal Batika Vidhya Mandir) which is in 2 hours walking distance from my village.  I have changed 3 schools due to family issue.  One day I got sick and admitted at nearest Hospital.  At that instance I came to know about doctors (only by profession) and attracted about them.  My father knew about my wish.  It was getting difficult for us to continue my school, so they rent me a room near by my school. I studied hard and completed my 10th grade.

After completion of my schooling and plus 2 (science), I got more fascinated towards medical science. I explained about my aim to my father, he knew it was difficult for an average family to bear expenses of medical collage, so he took loan from bank. Knowing this I geared up myself to study medicine and got admitted in Lumbini Medical College and Teaching Hospital, Palpa under Kathmandu University. Then, I graduated in 2016. It was happiest moment for all of us plus I became first doctor of my area. After that I worked as a Medical Officer in Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Dhulikhel Hospital, Dhulikhel, Kavre for 7 months. Later, I moved to DVWC (Development of Children and Women Centre), a non-profitable community hospital located in a remote area of Kavre. I have been working here as an Incharge over the past 2 years and treating poor and needy beautiful people of village. As well as this, I am preparing myself to hopefully get scholarship for my post-graduate work in medicine.

I am a seeker, I am an enthusiastic person who loves to take risks and hunt exciting opportunities. I am grateful to who I am today and what I am doing all these days. I must say, this is worth experiencing chapter in my everlasting medical journey.

Regards: Dr. Sameer 

Unfortunately, Dr. Sameer will be leaving us at the end of the month to pursue post graduate studies and training - 2 years in Nepal and 2 years in the UK.  He has received a generous scholarship to actualize his dream.  Dr. Sameer came to us from Dhulikel Hospital, one of the very prominent Hospitals in the Kathmandu area.  We think he chose well and it shines on Rajbash that we were his choice. We are proud to have been part of his journey for the last two years and wish him well. 

Over its 10 years of operation our hospital had quite a number of talented and dedicated young doctors. Dr. Udav who preceded Dr. Sameer stayed with us for 3 years.  However, as a rural hospital we have a hard time retaining this young talent. Most come to us after completing bachelor studies in medicine and surgery (4 to 5 years of study plus 1 year of internship) which in Nepal authorizes a person to dispense basic medical care and perform minor operations. After a year or two of service/practice in a rural area they understandably wish to complete their medical training with a Masters degree which prepares them for full medical practice, including more demanding surgeries.  Afterwards most go to work in one of the urban hospitals or practice privately. Both offer better pay and a more diverse environment. While it has been sad to say goodbye to each one of them,  we are deeply grateful for their commitment to the rural clientele and the services they have rendered.

 

Putting cast on a little boy
Putting cast on a little boy
suturing a leg injury
suturing a leg injury
suturing a head injury
suturing a head injury
Examination
Examination
Dr Udahv (middle)
Dr Udahv (middle)

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Masked assessment outside the hospital
Masked assessment outside the hospital

While we had hoped to bring you with this report the newest from Rajbash Hospital, the spread of Covid-19 infections in Nepal has pushed itself into the foreground.  

 

Back in August we reported that Covid-19 cases had moved from only 75 initially in the entire country to 13,000 cases and 45 deaths. As of Oct. 22 Nepal saw an increase of infections to 150,000 cases and 829 deaths and rising. The pandemic has been particularly virulent in urban areas like Kathmandu which is densely populated. As people have fled Kathmandu for the “safety” of the villages they have spread the virus there too.

 

Many people, especially in rural areas, are not using safety precautions as there is a lack of awareness of face masks, maintaining social distancing, hand washing and sanitizing. This is compounded by lack of information on how to manage infected persons and how to deal with dead bodies.

 

Nepal’s hospitals have limited beds and were not well prepared for pandemic situations. Isolation beds, ICU and ventilators exist in only very limited numbers and this level of care is unavailable for most infected patients. Instead they are told to stay home and isolate. Government hospitals used to provide free treatment as their capacity allowed. However, recently the government announced that Covid-19 testing and treatment costs will have to be borne by the patient. Private hospitals where Covid-19 treatment is available are very expensive and are beyond the reach of the majority of people.

 

The economy of Nepal has suffered greatly, as it depends on a host of variables that are all affected by the pandemic. The tourism sector has contracted as travel restrictions have been imposed globally and tourists are absent. The manufacturing sector is experiencing a shortage of raw materials, most of which used to come from China. Exacerbating the situation is the spread of the pandemic to the middle-East which is the main source of remittances and makes up more than half of Nepal’s GDP. Remittances were expected to sharply drop after Nepal suspended issuance of workers permits to Nepalese for all countries. The wholesale and retail sector have also been affected due to the decline of imports from China. The construction sector which imports most of its building materials from China has slowed down. As the Chinese contractors and workers who went home for the Chinese New Year could not return,  public construction projects have been put on hold. As immigration for foreign employment came to a halt, airlines were forced to suspend flights to several labor destinations.

 

Our DCWC Community Hospital in conjunction with local governments and municipalities would like to implement an awareness program for rural villages. Broad in scope it would attempt to provide villages with the information needed to protect rural populations from the spread of Covid-19.  At the start the program would be implemented within the service area of the DCWC Community Hospital. However, with economies in free fall it is difficult to mobilize the resources for such an undertaking.   Only the crucial support of donors like you will make this important outreach program a reality. Please help us to save more Nepali lives from falling prey to Covid-19.

 

All masked treatment outside the hospital
All masked treatment outside the hospital
Assessment outside by masked staff
Assessment outside by masked staff
Assessment outside
Assessment outside
treatment in outside tent
treatment in outside tent
Installing cast inside hospital
Installing cast inside hospital
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Organization Information

DCWC Community Hospital

Location: Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal - Nepal
Website:
Project Leader:
Karin Reibel
Walnut Creek, California United States
$206,231 raised of $225,000 goal
 
850 donations
$18,769 to go
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