Nepal Ireland Society 18th Anniversary Conference.
An exciting virtual conference took place on Sunday 17th May 2020, to celebrate the foundation of the Nepal Ireland Society, with participants from Nepal, UK, Germany, USA and Ireland via video link.
Chief guest H.E. Dr. Durgar Bahadur Subedi, Nepal’s Ambassador to the UK and Ireland, delivered the key note address.
Mike Winterburn, chair of the board of Directors of Nepal Leprosy Trust Ireland, addressed the group with details of the establishment of Nepal Leprosy Trust and of the benefits of collaboration with the Nepal Ireland Society. Excerpt from his talk below.
‘Nepal Leprosy Trust is a Nepali NGO and was established in the 1970s to provide income generation projects and training for a significant number of leprosy affected families who at that time were living in isolation in Kokhana village in the Kathmandu valley.
Over time Nepal Leprosy Trust developed … read more
We wish to acknowledge our appreciation to the wonderful, caring, work being undertaken by ALL staff at Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital and Services Centre in Nepal during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Like many other countries, Nepal is in national lockdown (which will be reviewed on 12th May 2020). This is to restrict the spread of the COVID-19 virus. To date there have been 59 recorded COVID-19 cases nationally, no deaths have so far been recorded, however, testing has been very limited so actual numbers are unknown. About 10,000 people, contacts or possible cases, are in quarantine.
In this time of global pandemic Lalgadh hospital has provided an isolation ward and a quarantine ward for Covid-19 patients. Staff have been provided with training and personal protective equipment (PPE) as they care for patients during the pandemic.
Lalgadh hospital have severely cut back on normal hospital services. Outpatient numbers are approximately 600 patients daily, that is now reduced to about 40 – 50 patients, mostly leprosy, severely ill or emergency cases. All staff are working hard to continue to provide the normal service to leprosy patients whilst at the same time taking care of those who may have the virus and require isolation and monitoring. Everyone entering the hospital compound are tested for fever to ascertain if they have the virus.
In the meantime, inpatients services are fully operational with about 70 inpatients in the wards, mostly leprosy patients including several children.
Staff are working flat-out on extra anti-COVID infection control measures: systematically cleaning, disinfecting and fumigating the entire hospital, installing extra liquid soap and hand sanitiser dispensers, running education classes for the patients on hand-washing, stocking up on disinfectant, and still trying to acquire more reliable stock of PPE.
Due to the length of the lockdown the local government has distributed some food locally, however there is cause for concern about hunger, particularly in poverty affected communities. We are actively seeking information on this issue and may need to send relief to the affected communities that we serve.
The Nepalese people are a brave, resilient and caring people and continue to fight against all the odds. Please pray for the staff’s continued protection, safety and good health.
If you are interested in hearing more about our work or in sending a donation please contact Vera at: email@example.com
Welcome to the prosthetics ward of Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital and Services Centre!
Leprosy does not cause limb loss directly, but due to a lack of sensation in the hands and feet, a leprosy affected person is at much greater risk of injury. Burns, cuts and ulcers may go unnoticed, which can lead to infection and permanent damage. Here at Lalgadh, patients can get prosthetics free of charge. #WelcometoLalgadh
The village of Sunderbasti now has a large water storage tank. Before this August, villagers piped water from four kilometres away, but the pipes leaked leading to contamination, especially during the monsoon. With safe water now in every villagers home, NLT is celebrating with Sunderbasti.
The government has agreed to build 53 ‘pukka’ (good quality cement and brick) houses with stoves fitted with pipes to remove damaging fumes. This is the result of the villagers’ growing confidence; empowered by the Village Alive Programme, they have lobbied government to improve their living conditions.
One such villager is Mhendra Majhi. Two years ago Mhendra lacked the confidence even to speak in front of people because of the stigma surrounding his leprosy. Now, with the encouragement of the Village Alive project workers, he acts as the leader of a self-help group in the village and runs a thriving business rearing goats and selling their milk!
The local government has already promised to come to the hall three times a month for immunisations, general health check -ups and maternal and child health visits.
Hari Choudury has run the Manara Self Help Group for seven years with great enthusiasm despite facing the effects of leprosy. For this reason he was chosen to be the coordinator of the Village Alive Programme in Manara. With great results already from the first year of the programme we can’t wait to see what lies ahead for Hari and his community!
The Village Alive Programme is a three programme and is part funded by Irish Aid with matched donor funding.
Irish field trip 2019 to Lalgadh and its surrounding villages – Day 2. The Village Alive Programme is alive and well in Itarharwa where government officials describe a 50% improvement in the state of the village. Hygiene standards drastically rose as a personal cleaning programme was implemented. Women and men are also starting small businesses in mushroom farming, pig keeping and goat rearing. One very happy headmistress describes school attendance increasing by fifty pupils !
The mayor of Itaharwa is a huge supporter of the Village Alive Programme. He shares NLT’s aim to improve the lives of lower caste people.
NLT supports the Village Alive Programme which empowers some of the poorest, most disadvantaged people suffering from leprosy and other debilitating conditions, to transform their own lives and also spearhead improvements to the whole village. In this way, the most rejected people become community leaders.
Day 1 of NLT Irelands visit to Nepal, September 2019.
This is Sarita from Gourishanker Village, Nepal. Because of the Women’s Savings Group set up by the Village Alive Programme in Gourishanker, Sarita received training to farm mushrooms. She is growing the seeds in a dark room of her hut and in a few months can start selling them . This will provide her with income to support her family.
The Village Alive Programme members in Gourishanker have also installed 2 new water pumps in the village, thus making water much more accessible. Our Village Alive Programme is part funded by Irish Aid
The Nepal Health Book has just being published. Well done to all involved, members of Nepal Ireland Society and members of Nepal Ireland Society Health Committee. Sincere thanks to all the contributors and to the many Irish INGO’s working in Nepal for their input also. Available online here
empowering for life