Today is my 16th day in Nepal and my attention has been concentrated on addressing the burn crises. A three day conference hosted by Dr Shankar Rai took place on Oct 21,2014 with 12 countries represented. Dr Rai was the spear head for raising awarness of the burn crises in South Asia by providing a platform for education and treatment of burns for doctors and patients.
The World Health Organization reports that fire related burns represent a significant global health burden, especially for children and women. Flammable structures, kerosene and open fires are the common causes of these burns. Very little access to adequate burn care is available, and those fortunate enough to survive endure painful suffering and are left with disabling scars and emontional trauma. These unfortunate victims become social and invisible outcasts and are lifelong burndens to their families.
WHO statics report that just as many women suffer burns from fire each year as from HIV/AIDS, and more school-age children die each year of fire-caused injuries than of tuberculosis or malaria.
Children's Medical Aid (CMAF)continues to be supportive of this work and devoted to his mission. CMAF is working with the Lyons Club of Kathmandu and Public Health officials to organize educational trips into the rural villags where burns are most prominate. We endevour to improve the extent of the injury with the proper 1st aid and treatment. Care of burn victims is provided free of cost at Kitipur Cleft & Burn Center.
We did it! Thanks to our generous donors and in-kind contributions of materials and services, Chisang Clinic is now open and serving a population of 30,000 people in the region of Bhawanee in rural eastern Nepal. Children's Medical Aid Foundation raised $13,622 in funds, including $7,780 from GlobalGiving donors, plus contributed many hours of volunteer time to support the Chisang Service Committee.
Chisang Clinic officially opened on April 13, 2012. Within two weeks more than 200 patients were seen. Based on demographics and identified healthcare needs in the area, the clinic is focusing on promoting women’s health through the provision of maternity and obstetrics care, including antenatal, natal, and postnatal care and monthly Well Women Clinics. Chisang Clinic also strives to improve the health of children through established Well Child Clinics and monthly Immunization Clinics. Additionally, use of the facility is provided to other local and international NGOs for special outreach programs such as eye and dental clinics. Beyond acute clinical care, the clinic promotes community health through public health and disease prevention services.
Now that the clinic is open, expansion activities are already underway, under the direction of the local Chisang Service Committee. Area residents have donated sand, bricks and labor to do the groundwork for the clinic extension that will increase capacity for providing education, screenings and treatment.
In reaching the goal of opening Chisang Clinic, Children’s Medical Aid Foundation was instrumental in:
• Designing the program concept in partnership with Chisang Service Committee and providing long-range
planning for program development of Chisang Clinic services
• Identifying construction needs and services for the remodeled facility
• Assessing the operational needs for staff and patients
• Procuring necessary medical supplies and equipment for patient care
• Purchasing and delivering Toshiba ultrasound unit through individual donations
• Providing architectural drawings for remodel of present and future buildings
• Developing promotional material such as postcards, T-shirts, posters and banners
• Promoting Chisang Clinic and medical volunteer opportunities at U.C. Global Health Day
• Posting clinic information and progress updates on CMAF Facebook and website
• Meeting with Nepal’s UNICEF Director to initiate a working partnership focused on their Women and Children’s
abuse program (still in discussion)
CMAF is very proud and delighted to have been part of getting Chisang Clinic launched. We deeply appreciate the support we have received for this special project. It is clear that the Chisang Service Committee has the capacity to see the clinic grow into a sustainable community-supported healthcare and birthing center. The Commmittee's dedication, perseverance and ability to enlist the help of the community was key to completing this project in less than one year, on schedule and within budget. Children's Medical Aid Foundation continues our commitment to empower rural Nepalese communities by supporting development of access to medical care using locally sustanable business models. This includes our Corrective Surgery Outreach Program and Medical Clinic Development.
April 30 journal entry from clinic volunteer, Dr. Briana Cranmer:
A jumble of Nepali voices dance through the darkness. There is nervous tension in the air. “Ke boyo? What happened?” At the center of a crowd stands a mother tightly grasping the hand of her frightened son. Despite her calm demeanor there is a sense of urgency in her eyes. Closer inspection reveals dried blood spattered across their hands. The mother slowly moves her thumb to reveal an open wound at the base of her son’s ring finger. Her son sliced his hand on a piece of sharp tin 30 minutes ago. We are the closest medical center for 80 km and the only place available at 7:00 p.m.
“Kripaya timi sahayog garna sakchau? Can you please help?” Soap and water, a little lidocaine, and four stitches later the boy whispers, “Malai sutna man lagyo,” he is ready for bed. With a payment of 130 rupees ($1.75 USD) the audience disperses and clinic life settles back into the rhythm of the village.
This patient is only a small representation of the many acutely and chronically ill that the Chisang Clinic is able to care for. The ease and speed with which the clinic Director Debendra Karki and Children’s Medical Aid Foundation Director Carol Vernal have established the Chisang Clinic reflects the strength of their determination and their commitment to the Bhawanee community.
For a medical professional, this is the essence of medicine. Where you use flashlights because the electricity won’t come until 8:00 p.m.; where water is hand-pumped from the ground because plumbing is questionable; and where tools are sterilized with boiled water because autoclaves are unavailable. Where you are forced to rely on your stethoscope and ears because X-rays and ECGs cost precious time and money; where you learn to trust your instincts because specialists are not a phone call away; where you hone your physical exam skills because lab tests are not readily available; and where appropriate patient management may mean the difference between a life-threatening ruptured appendicitis and a life-saving appendectomy. I am forever changed by this experience and thankful to be a part of such an impressive endeavor.
We are pleased to announce that Chisang Clinic, the focus of our “Provide Healthcare Access for Indigent Nepalese” project, officially re-opened on April 13, 2012. A special ceremony was held at the clinic in Bhawanee, with representatives of Children's Medical Aid Foundation, Chisang Service Committee, Village Volunteers, and local residents celebrating. Blessings were offered by a local priest to all the staff and volunteers.
Within two weeks more than 200 patients were seen. Some patients came from well outside the village of Bhawanee. One father walked barefoot more than an hour to have his daughter treated for an infected wound, and a 91-year-old woman walked two hours to have an abscess on her abdomen looked at.
Because of the long distances some patients are traveling to get to the clinic, we have begun making outreach visits to nearby villages to bring our services to them. As a result of our first outreach, we saw five patients and referred four new patients to the clinic. We were grateful to have been able to locate and treat an infant dangerously dehydrated due to diarrhea.
In addition to basic screening and medical care, Well Woman Care and Well Child Care are fully functional at Chisang Clinic, and an ultrasound unit is available for pregnant women who receive pre-natal checkups at the clinic.
Excited about having a clinic again in their community, local residents have already donated sand, bricks and labor to help build a clinic extension that will increase capacity for providing labor and delivery services. They only ask for $950 to cover the cost of labor and materials needed to build the roof over the extension. Construction of the extension will be overseen by the Chisang Service Committee.
As word gets out about the clinic, we expect we will be seeing as many as 30 patients per day. This is a dream come true for the rural Nepalese community we are serving. There is much more we can do as we increase collaborations with partner organizations, such as hosting eye clinics, and providing wellness screenings and HIV/AIDS education. All of this is possible thanks to your support!
Namaste from Nepal!
I've been in Nepal for three months (October to December 2011), but it still feels like I just arrived! I guess that’s what happens when you're doing work that you love. Things have gone better than I had anticipated - we have made wonderful progress on our projects.
I've been meeting with our Chisang Clinic partners - Clinic Director Debendra Karki, the Chisang Service Committee, and local Bhawanee residents - to finalize plans for reopening the clinic. The grand reopening ceremony is scheduled to take place in April 2012!
While in Nepal, I guided a group of nurses and physicians on CMAF’s first annual excursion to Nepal. The 10-day trip included a visit to the Chisang Clinic site and local hospitals, a meeting with the Corrective Surgery Medical Team, and special presentations by Nepali health professionals. 30 CEUs were issued to each participating nurse. Proceeds from the tour will benefit Chisang Clinic.
We have established several new collaborative partnerships, including an Eye Camp in Bhawanee with Biratnagar Rotary Club, and a Dental Camp at Chisang Clinic with the Kathmandu Model Hospital Dental Dept. (to take place in May 2012). We also met with a representative of UNICEF to discuss how to increase outreach through Chisang Clinic to help women and children suffering from physical and emotional abuse.
Now that we've closed the 2011 calendar year, it’s a good time to take stock of the success of our mission. From March 2011 (the beginning of our fiscal year) through Dec. 15, CMAF has sponsored:
• 79 corrective surgeries (for more than 20 types of birth defects)
• 150 post-op visits
• 71 physical therapy treatments
We will be able to reach at least 100 children with corrective surgeries by the end of our fiscal year (Feb. 2012).
We delivered more than 800 toothbrushes, 60 lbs. of medical text books, a portable tourniquet system, and sutures and surgical instruments to Kathmandu Model Hospital and outreach programs.
Thank you for helping this to be one of our best years ever. There is much to look forward to in 2012!
I'm excited to be in Nepal through December 2011 to work with our Nepali partners in moving the Chisang Clinic project forward. Our primary partner for the project, Debendra Karki (founder of the Chisang Clinic and the nonprofit Chisang Service Committee), will also be in Nepal with his family through February 2012. Debendra and I will meet with Chisang Service Committee board members to develop a project time line and a three-year plan for the clinic. We will shop for lighting and plumbing fixtures, interview contractors to install the fixtures and build partitions for two outpatient clinic rooms. This is the first step in making the building operational. Our goal is to open in April 2012 with a nurse and one assistant to provide first aid care and introduce our services to the community. I will also meet with Rotarians in Biratnagar and Itahari to introduce the Chisang Clinic project and ask for their support.
We're off to a great start, thanks in large part to our Global Giving donors (we exceeded our August Challenge goal by $1,000). Thank you to all of you who have supported the development of Chisang Clinic. You are making it possible for us to bring basic healthcare to thousands of impoverished families in rural Nepal. Please contact us if you have questions about the economic and environmental sustainability components of our project, or if you would like to learn about opportunities to support specific aspects of the project.
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