Expedition & Wilderness supports the work of Rural Assistance Nepal by promoting its remote medicine posts
RAN has been writing a proposal to set up a small community hospital for the poor in the mid-western regional of Nepal at Bhalubang. A few days ago, the Nepali NGO for the hospital was registered and a start made on registering the land. The local community is donating five hectares for a hospital to be built there. Om Rajbhandary, who owns a building construction company in Kathmandu, is providing help with designs and cost estimates. His architects are coming up with some drawings and detailed cost estimates for the proposal to be sent to potential donors. This can be seen on RAN’s website , and will be updated with the architects’ drawings in the next couple of weeks.
Phase one is to build the clinic/OPD and this will cost around 150,000USD. Subject to funds, the aim is to start construction by the end of the year when it’s envisaged the land and hospital registration should be complete. Fundraising is just starting for this.
Meeting last week with the District Health Officer of Dang district, it was agreed that RAN would help to support the sub-healthpost at Bhalubang until the hospital is built. The DHO was very positive and supportive of the proposed hospital. Though he hopes to be able to upgrade the sub-healthpost to a full healthpost soon, the reality is that there is a gap between resources available and what they want to do. In particular, whilst there are facilities for mothers to deliver their babies there, there is no midwife. RAN is looking for a staff nurse or ANM midwife to provide maternity healthcare services, with a view for a long-term contract at the hospital once this is set up. The healthpost is right opposite where the hospital is to be built. HexN (UK) will be helping with supplying medicines to this sub-healthpost, to supplement the government’s supply when necessary.
In the last few months, many doctors, nurses and medical students are volunteering their help throughout the rest of the year. Most are going to help Dr Kashim Shah at Gulmi and his friend, Dr Shree Ram Tiwari at Bajhang District Hospital, in the far west of Nepal, as well as to some clinics and healthposts. Other volunteers are coming to help at some of the schools and a big thank you go to those who have spent time at schools in Bardiya, Rawadolu and Bangeswal, and the medics who have helped at Deusa healthpost and Gulmi District Hospital so far this year. Especial thanks go to the generous donations from friends all around the world and from the audience of the Kathmandu Chorale’s spring concert a couple of weeks ago who gave generously.
If you know anyone interested in helping or volunteering, please feel very welcome to pass on information to anyone who might be interested.