FINALLY, SOME HOPE FOR COUNTLESS WOUNDED PEOPLE: OUR MEDICAL HELP
Back to Life has a lot of experience in organizing and conducting health camps for the poorest of the poor – and that even in very inaccessible areas. The planning of these camps is under normal conditions carried out with a certain lead time to ensure a smooth process through detailed preparation which enables the treatment of as many patients as possible.
Sindupalchok – a health camp in a world completely destroyed
Approximately 90 km north of Kathmandu lays the mountain region Sindupalchok. 90 % of these mountain villages were destroyed leaving only piles of rubble, the simple stone houses plastered with clay could not withstand the eruptions. Whole mountaintops are just gone, whole valleys were buried under landslides, who tore complete villages with them on their way into the depths. Up to our arrival no help came here since all access roads were blocked. The survivors only had what they could salvage from the rubble and they had to rescue the injured and to retrieve the death all alone without any medical help. The emergency was indescribable.
Through a cooperation with a government agency, we succeeded on the fourth day after the earthquake – with a helicopter full of medical supplies as well as doctors and paramedics – to get to those people in need, so that the 11-members strong medical team was able to care for the seriously injured in a period of 7 days. Most suffered severe head injuries and fractures, cuts and deep wounds. The experienced doctors were shocked by the extent of the emergency although they already knew to handle difficult situations due to our health camps. Without any rest they treated more than 1,000 victims.
We organized an Ayurvedic Health Camp at the heavily damaged city of Bhaktapur with a focus on pregnant women, nursing mothers and babies. Some of the women had lost everything and lived for weeks under tarpaulins. Many had no regular meals.
For this purpose, we formed a team of doctors of the “Ayurvedic Hospital in Bhaktapur” and organized ayurvedic juices, pastes, tonics, food supplements as well as baby food for babies whose mothers were not able to breastfeed. These natural foods were used for strengthening and bridging the hardest time. The Health Camps gave the doctors the opportunity to offer their assistance to women for their upcoming births. With this relief campaign we were able to directly reach 300 needy families in one day.
Doctors without medicine – fast support for the hospital in Shanku
While the 11-members strong team was on its way to Sindhupalchok, our project managers were on their way to the destroyed city Sankhu. This town is just 16 km outside the capital in the foothills of the Kathmandu valley and it is easily accessible under normal circumstances. But it became a ride through destroyed villages. Up to 90 % of the houses at the old Bazaar of Sankhu were reduced to rubble and everywhere were many injured people and deaths to mourn about.
They wanted to reach the hospital Sushma Koirala Memorial Hospital Nepal (SKMH), which is specialized on burning injuries, cleft surgeries and malformations and which contributes a great service for the impoverished population of Nepal. In the last few years we spent a lot of time here, because we quite often accommodated our patients at the SKMH – such as the children we care for: Kushi, Anil, Savita and Bhim…
After the catastrophe the intact hospital was the only hope for the severely affected villagers and people from the region. But it was completely overcrowded with injured people and both, doctors and nursing staff, worked at full speed. They could hardly withstand the onslaught of the needy people. Our project managers inquired which assistance was most importantly needed at the hospital and they got a list of medication. Too few products were available, and the budget of the hospital was exhausted. The treatment would have gotten restricted without external support. Back in Kathmandu, our team organized right away everything that was needed and delivered the packages as fast as possible to the SKMH.