AmeriCares has been transitioning its response in Nepal from emergency aid to longer term recovery. Our immediate recovery efforts targeting the health needs of the populations were substantial: Our physicians nearly 1,500 patients; we also partnered with volunteer medics to treat an additional 1,200 earthquake survivors. AmeriCares has delivered 38 shipments of medicines and supplies, valued at more than $21.5 million, to 25 local and international partner organizations.
Two of our current efforts deal with setting up the communities for longer term recovery and helping survivors from the earthquake with health needs that go beyond immediate care.
Providing Local Rehabilitation Care: AmeriCares supported the opening of an Injury and Rehabilitation Unit in Chautara, Sindhupalchowk district, on Nov. 18. The facility, now fully operational, will provide services to improve the functional status and treatment outcomes of earthquake survivors from Sindhupalchowk who have been discharged from Kathmandu hospitals.
Also known as a step-down unit, the facility will offer physiotherapy, basic nursing care, health education and psychosocial support. It will also provide accommodation and meals, connect people to livelihood and shelter initiatives, and facilitate transportation for referrals. The physical therapists and other specialists staffing the facility will train district hospital staff in injury and rehabilitation care.
Addressing Mental Health Needs: AmeriCares Nepal staff continue to provide counseling services to medical professionals and other staff at two Kathmandu hospitals, Paropakar Maternity and Women’s Hospital and Nepal Medical College and Teaching Hospital. Our program targets health workers who, due to their experiences caring for injured patients, might experience vicarious trauma. More than 1,200 staff participated in either group or individual sessions, which have helped to reduce stigma around mental health issues. Further psychosocial counseling trainings for hospital staff will be held to ensure the progress achieved by the program is sustainable.
AmeriCares will continue to work on addressing the needs of Nepal, however the current fuel crisis is delaying earthquake recovery efforts and causing shortages of medicines, putting more people at risk. The Nepal Ministry of Health received our $65,000 shipment of emergency medical supplies, sufficient to meet the needs of 40,000 people for three months at the end of December; a second shipment with $1.1 million in medicines and supplies arrived in early January. AmeriCares also supplied blood bags to local hospitals in response to an urgent appeal and is currently preparing a third shipment of aid in response to the fuel crisis.
Thank you for all your support for this vital work and for supporting AmeriCares across our work to save lives and build healthier futures for people in crisis in the United States and around the world.