These days every Nepali child learns about bodily health and hygiene as well as proper dental hygiene as soon as they enter school. However, older populations, particularly those who did not have the benefit of early training, generally are more ignorant about oral health & hygiene. Constant reinforcement is needed to keep improving dental health in our communities. In their visits to outlying villages our outreach nurses use explanatory “Show and Tell” posters and pictures to teach proper dental care. Since our hospital does not have a dentist on staff periodic free dental health camps are how we bring dental care to the larger community.
Back in November we sent out a GlobalGiving Appeal to match a $1,500 gift by a generous donor. The money raised through this match was to fund another much needed free Dental Health Camp at the Rajbash Hospital. We calculated that with the amount raised with the match, in one weekend we could serve approximately 150 persons, provide for a dentist, a dental assistant and provide all medicines and supplies. Of course, all of the organizing and backup services would be provided by the hospital staff.
The two day Dental Camp was super successful as we were able to provide free services and medicines for 177 patients from five surrounding municipalities. 127 of those needed dental services and 50 were provided OPD services. All dental patients received a dental exam and most received a cleaning. The dental staff performed 52 extractions, 43 fillings, 32 scalings. Patients also were examined for signs of cancer and disease caused by cigarettes and tobacco. 5 patients were referred to a dental hospital for further treatment.
We hope that this reporting reminds you of the significant effect you can have on rural health issues in Nepal. We are grateful for your continued support as are those whose lives have been improved because you decided to care.
Working for a small hospital in a remote region of Nepal takes a special kind of person. It requires someone who can thrive without the diversions of the City; someone who feels at ease with the rhythms of nature and who enjoys being part of a small group of professionals who are committed to serving the people in this remote community. Most of the people who work at our hospital fit this description. They are bonded in their shared purpose. Some of them do leave for a while to obtain more advanced professional training, but more often than not they are drawn back to serving where they feel needed.
One such example is Alina’s story:
In early 2008 the DCWC sent a volunteer to teach English at a school in Mandan Kudari, a small village in the same larger municipality as the Rajbash Hospital. The volunteer stayed at the house of Alina’s father, a teacher at the school. Alina dreamt of becoming a nurse but her fathers’ salary was not enough to allow his daughter to study nursing. Having befriended Alina, the DCWC volunteer decided to help finance a nursing course for Alina. Upon completion of her nursing course, Alina joined the DCWC hospital as a nurse from 2012 to 2017. During that time she saved funds to again study for her Bachelor in Nursing degree. After 4 years of study and upon completion of her BN degree, she rejoined the DCWC hospital as Head of the Nursing Department in 2022.
Alina now lives in the staff quarters. She also completed her SBA (Skilled Birth Attendant) training and now oversees the hospitals’ neonatal services as well. Alina told us: ‘Talking about my marital status, I am married and my husband is abroad for foreign employment. I currently do not have any children but one is coming in the near future.’
We are delighted that Alina, with her years of dedicated study and experience, continues to be part of the Rajbash hospital team.
In closing today’s report we have an update to our December appeal. A generous donor offered to match donations for a much needed Dental Camp. Our appeal was a great success and, as you can see in the photo below, the date for a Dental Camp is now set for late January.
We hope this report brings you closer to appreciating the culture of dedication and service at this hospital that you have been supporting so generously. As always, we are grateful for your ongoing support and encouragement.
Health Camp Offensive
In our efforts to maximize our reach into some of the underserved rural regions of Nepal, Health Camps held at the Rajbash hospital or in surrounding areas have been an effective tool. Targeted to a population that is healthy enough to respond on their own to our periodic health camp announcements it is an efficient way to triage and treat a maximum number of patients in only a day or two. Throughout the beginning of this year we have held a number of these health camps covering a diverse range of medical disciplines.
In early March the Chauridali Rural Municipality arranged for a health camp to be held at Rajbash Hospital covering an unusually wide range of medical issues comprising general medicine, neurological diseases, routine surgery, pulmonology, gynecology, and infertility.
A blood testing camp was held on March 13th at a nearby secondary school, again organized by Chauridali rural municipality and coordinated by our hospital. Ms. Lama, our lab technician, was in charge of testing for blood type and glucose levels for the crowds of people that had heeded our appeals for this event.
This was followed up by an Oral Hygiene Awareness program coordinated by our hospital at a nearby secondary school. 350 students participated in the program that was presided over by our Dr. Manish.
A few months ago a generous donor offered us funding for a special, free orthopedics and physiotherapy camp to be held at the DCWC hospital. We identified 70 patients with chronic pain who had come to the hospital for treatment over the past couple of months. We then hired two specialists and purchased necessary medications. The camp was a roaring success. Instead of our initial 70 patients, a total of 139 patients received treatment.
If we can raise the necessary funds, we hope to do more such camps in the future, targeting different health issues. Already the above mentioned generous donor has offered to set up a funding match for a specialty camp to be held in the future. Look for our announcement in the coming month.
Since its founding in 2010, the Rajbash hospital has been dedicated to bring much needed health care to underserved rural populations in Nepal. We could not do this without your continued generous support. We are beyond grateful to you, our donors, for enabling us to continue our mission.
Over the years, trekking in the Himalayan mountains has been one way to raise money for the hospital. Trekking with a group and bonding around a common effort is also a very rich experience. We have made lifelong friends through these journeys. If you are interested in one of our treks, be it with a group or a solo experience with knowledgeable guides, please contact us for further information.
There are many direct and indirect benefits of our hospital in this small Rajbash community. One obvious direct benefit is: ongoing quality healthcare for all subsistence farming families in the area. One of the indirect benefits is: providing employment for a number of local individuals in direct services to the hospital as well as in ancillary areas like gardening and security. Let us introduce you to some of them:
Lal has been with the hospital since it opened in 2010. He is 32 years old, lives in Rajbash and has 2 brothers and 3 sisters. He is a certified CMA (Certified Medical Assistant) which means he can do a little bit of everything, i.e.: X-ray procedures when the regular technician is not available; tending to everyday wound care; running the pharmacy; dental extractions & fillings; assistant hospital manager; tending to outpatient services. Lal recently also was certified for vaccine administration. Most of the doctors at Rajbash hospital only stay for two or three years before they move on to further professional training. Lal, with his uninterrupted service to the hospital since its beginning in 2010 therefore is truly a ‘centerpiece’ of the Rajbash hospital community.
And then there are Sabina and Punam, 22 and 21 years old, our Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs) who live about a 20 minute walk from the hospital. They both attended the local Shree Khanda Devi secondary school, founded in 2008 by DCWC in conjunction with our Czech partners. Upon completion of their schooling DCWC sponsored both women for an 18 months ANM training and they subsequently obtained their Skilled Birthing Attendant (SBA) certificates as well. Both of them were hired for full time positions in the hospital 3 years ago. Both have an important role in the smooth functioning of our maternity department. It includes the tracking of patients for regular pre- and post natal visits at the hospital as well as in outlying villages, birthing attendance, village outreach to educate people about the benefits of a hospital birth. If necessary and within the limits of their certification both can also assist the doctor with outpatient treatment.
The last to be introduced today is Tek, our ambulance driver. Tek is on call at all hours of the day and night to bring patients to one of the larger hospitals in Kathmandu or to simply bring them from an outlying village down to Rajbash. When he is not catching up on his sleep and has some extra time Tek takes loving care of the maintenance of our most precious vehicle, the ambulance. He too lives close to Rajbash with his family, a wife and two sons, aged 11 and 17.
By being a part of our Rajbash Hospital family, all four of the employees you have met today are having a stake in the success of our hospital for the sake of their families and that of their community. They help to spread an avenue of trust and reliablility for the hospital to the entire community.
As always , we are most grateful to you who provide ongoing support for the Hospital and all that it nurtures as part of the community.
Karin and Patrick
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