An outreach adventure where no doctor has trod before….
WAY UP in the mountains of Sindhuli District our medical team visited Kalika School and its Tamang community, where we’d promised to do an awfully-needed health check-up on the children.
Our team included 2 doctors, a nurse, our Support Services Manager and courageous driver. As well as the children, we wanted to check on progress with the water supply pipe and the building work we are supporting for a new school to replace the present earthquake-damaged building.
The arduous 4-5 hour trip from Lalgadh Hospital climbs hair-raising roads and tracks. Then there’s a 1½ hour steep up-and-down walk. No wonder no doctor nor “whitey” has ever been there before. But we have built a wonderfully warm relationship with this Tamang community, not least because some of the team members – Dr Krishna Lama, Meena and Suman – are Tamang too.
We found and treated lots of skin infections, especially impetigo and scabies; malnutrition, and throat, ear and eye infections. Almost none of the children has been vaccinated; that must wait for another visit.
We also caught up with 9 year-old Sarita with burns and damaged limbs whom we met last year. With the support of Gudri – our Footwear Dept Manager and his team Sarita can now run and walk, and climb…. and even dance – Tamang dances.
When our steering failed on the return trip, a wonderful Mangar family invited us to their home for rice & dhal. They begged us to help their community’s schoolchildren as well as the Tamang children higher up. We also found 3 unregistered leprosy patients.
Back home to Lalgadh hospital at 1am. What an adventure!
With thanks to Dr Graeme Clugston for this extract and the photos.
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Thank you to all who supported us this week by buying crafts. These beautiful crafts are made in Nepal by skilled crafts people and are vital for their livelihood and that of their families. See image below of the craft workers as they complete the felt decorations, sewing on the beading and fine detail. We thank you for purchasing these and other crafts, your support and encouragement is hugely appreciated.
Late one evening in July, I found myself descending rapidly in an airplane over the Kathmandu valley. The city looked totally unlike any I had seen before. Walking out onto the heated street, the life of the place struck me. People everywhere. No surface seemed untouched. As I travelled south, rural farmland replaced crowded cityscape – rice paddies and dirt tracks.
WELCOME TO NEPAL
How did I end up here? After a lifetime of hearing stories about Nepal from my parents, who spent the first years of their married lives there, I had been given the opportunity to visit. I would be staying at Lalgadh Hospital – the busiest leprosy hospital in the world – set up by Nepal Leprosy Trust (NLT), a Christian organisation inspired by Jesus’ compassion to serve the poor and sick. Their aim is to empower those affected by leprosy and other disadvantaged people.
Leprosy destroys the life of a patient both physically and socially, so NLT focuses on two primary aspects of the rehabilitation. First, they must deal with the physical illness… Read the full article here
MONSOON, hot, wet, muddy and an awesome Community Program.
Stretching out a compassionate hand to thousands of leprosy-affected, marginalised, untouchables (Dalits) and others in poverty and dire need.
The monsoon is here – it’s hot, wet and sticky with frequent heavy rain, thunderstorms and lightning. Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital & Services Centre (LLSC) is on a hill and so is safe (occasional lightning strikes knock out our Internet). The river next to the hospital is flooded.
The monsoon is a joy for farmers in the right areas, as the monsoon is essential for rice planting and transplanting, especially because Nepal faces severe food shortages in many areas.
But in other areas the monsoon brings flooding and landslide disasters, as rivers flooded with heavy monsoonal rain, plus melting Himalayan snow and glaciers rush down the Himalayan slopes into valleys, into the flat Terai (where Lalgadh Hospital is situated) and then into India. Landslides are frequent and rip away earthquake-weakened slopes burying villages and destroying roads, and once in the flatlands the waters spread out and causing wide areas of inundation. Hundreds have already died and thousands been made homeless in just the last couple of weeks
At Lalgadh Hospital this is the busy season with increasing illness, water-borne diseases, and swelling patient numbers (500-600 per day). Despite the heat, rains, mud and flooding, and busyness, the 3 major arms of LLSC –
(a) HOSPITAL SERVICES,
(b) COMMUNITY OUTREACH Program,
(c) TRAINING/CAPACITY BUILDING,
carry with that what I’d call mighty perseverance!
LLSC’s COMMUNITY PROGRAM is totally awesome! It provides a spectacular outreach program for many thousands – from leprosy affected, marginalised, untouchable, stigmatised communities in the 4 Districts adjacent to LLSC (2.5 million people). Despite the monsoon rains, mud and flooding it continues its daily operation reaching out to difficult-to-reach poor and needy vlllages where leprosy and other diseases of poverty are still rampant. Extract from Dr Graeme. Lalgadh Hospital, August 19th 2016.