Delivery of medical equipment
Sindhupalchowk, a region located about 100 km north-east of Kathmandu - the capital of Nepal, belongs to the most affected by the cataclysm. There was one of the two largest epicenter of the earthquake that affected this country in 2015. According to official statistics, 95% of buildings were destroyed there, usually together with schools, health centers and infrastructure in the form of electricity, water supply and road networks.
During the reconnaissance trip in 2015, we managed to reach the village of Piskar inhabited by about 5,000 people. All its inhabitants lost their homes and lived in makeshift shelters. The building of the school, in which 350 children were taught, as well as the local Health Post were also in ruins. These units form the basis of the health care system in Nepal. They are maintained from government funds and available to patients free of charge. In practice, for the average inhabitant of Nepal, they are the only place where you can get advice, receive medicines, have a wound, give birth to a child, and give them vaccinations.
After the earthquake, the health center in the village of Piskar was located in a tent with an area of 10m2. Basic medicine, equipment and materials were missing, and only one person was responsible for the health condition of all residents - Health Assistant - Amanraj Paryiar. Despite several months from the catastrophe have passed, no help was available there, and the situation in the country did not promise improvement. Providing complete equipment necessary for the operation of this health center together with provisions securing needs for a period of two years has become the goal of the 2016 Chance for Nepal project.
Technical condition of the health center before delivery of equipment.
At the beginning of August 2016 Monika and Karol together with Phurba Sherpa visited the village of Piskar. During the preparation of the project, it turned out that thanks to the efforts of the head of the health center - Amanraj Pariyar, one of the organizations operating in Nepal decided to rebuild the destroyed building. The American Nepal Medical Foundation has completed the finishing work shortly before our arrival. What we saw pleasantly surprised us. Although its construction was very simple, in comparison with the tent the difference was colossal. The building with an area of 90m2 was built of prefabricated materials. It was completely finished from the outside, it had external doors, internal doors and windows, electrical and plumbing installations were distributed, painted walls, PVC lined floors, and sanitary facilities had adequate sanitary fittings. Undoubtedly, this fact facilitated the implementation of our task. In the current situation, it was possible to precisely match the type of equipment supplied with the new needs related to the new headquarters. Together with the manager, we again assessed the needs of the residents of the village and returned to Kathmandu with a list of necessary items. The only thing left was to implement everything that was on paper.
Completion of the equipment
The next two weeks were devoted to completing the equipment and organization of the final transport. Phurba, who traveled with us from the store to the store, was an invaluable help, explaining to the sellers speaking only Nepalese what we need, checked the quality of the offered goods, and finally negotiated the best price. In addition, we had to pick up our parcel from Poland from the cargo terminal. We stored all purchased items securely at Srongtsen Bhrikuti Boarding High School.
Transport and cleaning
When our warehouse was filled up and all the items on the list were already crossed out, we packed the stored equipment onto the truck and went to Piskar. It was a critical moment of the whole project due to the ongoing rainy season and frequent landslides destroying roads. However, this time we were also lucky and we arrived at the scene just before sunset. We spent the next days organizing the imported items and filling empty rooms with everything that was necessary for the functioning of the center. We also trained Amanraj and nurses on the principles of their use.
Opening of a health post in the village of Piskar
After the completion of cleaning works, the new Health Post was officially opened. The ceremony was attended by all participants of the project, health center staff, Phurba Sherpa and invited guests, among whom were the most important representatives of the local community. We started with listening to speeches, and then each of us was decorated with a traditional Nepalese katha shawl and a red tika sign on the forehead. The official intersection of the ribbon by Health Post manager - Amanraj Pariyar and project coordinator - Karol Cadelski. Everyone gathered with interest and watched the new health center equipment. It included, among others: wardrobes, chairs, tables, fridge, bed, power generator; various medical equipment and accessories, such as scales, racks, lamps, surgical instruments, nebulisers, pulse oximeters, fetal pulse detectors, glucometers, stetoscopes, sphygmomanometers, oral medications, intravenous drugs, lotions, compresses, gases, bandages, sterile gloves and non-sterile gloves, tapes, specialist dressings, kits for childbirth, preparations for disinfecting wounds, hands and tools, syringes, needles, catheters, scalpels, surgical sutures, condoms and sanitary materials. The amount of all consumables was calculated so as to cover the needs of residents for 1-2 years. The culmination of the ceremony was a snack and in the evening a party at the police station.
A visit to the school and distribution of hygiene materials
The local school, in which 350 students are taught, has been transferred to makeshift classes constructed of corrugated metal. The main school building is under reconstruction. In the classes we conducted lessons on hygiene, and each student received a set consisting of 2 soaps, toothpaste, 2 toothbrushes and 2 pens. In addition, 600 menstrual pads were distributed among the girls.
Health Post in the village of Piskar is already working!
Of the things that we brought to the Health Post in the village of Piskar, several dozen patients use it every day. Perhaps in the world, and even in Nepal itself, it is only a small drop in the ocean of needs. However, from the perspective of these specific people - residents of the village who have sick children, must have a wound or want to give birth to a child in civilized conditions, the change that has taken place is a breakthrough.
Our arrival in this forgotten village, located somewhere deep in the Himalayas was not without significance. We asking the residents if any European ever slept with them in the village, they said that we were the first. Our commitment, joint work, evenings spent on long conversations around the campfire were not only an opportunity to exchange cultural experiences. The fact that many people somewhere thousands of miles from Nepal, in distant and unknown Poland, were concerned about the problems of, as they called themselves "ordinary peasants", was a huge positive impulse activating the local community.