A preliminary assessment of Kavre district and its need for health services was performed by RMF’s Nepal team immediately after the April 25, 2015 mega earthquake. We found that the health centers were in immediate need of health equipment and supplies, which would enable them to provide quality health services to area residents. RMF’s headquarters in the USA immediately responded to these needs by dispatching two 40-foot containers filled with necessary health equipment and supplies, made possible by several generous supporters, including
However, the container could not reach Nepal at that time due to an unofficial economic blockade created by the Indian government. Nepal is a landlocked country, and the only way for the container to enter Nepal was through an Indian customs port. With the Indian government blocking any container from entering Nepal, the supplies had to stay in the Port of Kolkata for almost 6 months.
In January 2016, RMF’s Nepal team was finally able to receive the container. The equipment and medical supplies were stored in Dhulikhel (the headquarters of Kavre district). After having obtained necessary approvals from appropriate authorities to distribute the consignment to the village health posts of Kavre, our team conducted a small ceremony and handed over the consignment to the District Health Office. Under RMF’s supervision, another small distribution ceremony was held in Birta Deurali Health Post, where the medical supplies and equipment were directly handed over to health post supervisors in February 2016.
All in all, the consignment was distributed among 17 village health posts and Dhulikhel Hospital. The initial decision was to distribute among 8 VDCs in Kavre, but because of the overwhelming quantity of supplies, the consignment was adequately distributed among 17 VDCs and Dhulikhel Hospital.
17 VDCs received medical supplies and equipment:
In June 2016, RMF Finance Manager Suman Gurung visited the villages with Mr. Lekh Raj Gautam, a respected local political figure, to inspect the condition of the consignment. They observed that most of the consignment had been distributed among the health posts, but some of the VDCs were unable to take the supplies to their health posts. This was because of the overwhelming size of their share of the consignment and a lack of funds to hire a vehicle to transport it. The undistributed supplies were kept in two of the health posts, namely Dhuseni Siwalaya Health Post and Birta Deurali Health Post.
RMF’s team instructed the supervisor of Dhuseni Siwalaya Health Post to have the consignment distributed to the respective health posts immediately. It was also made clear that the transportation cost would be borne by Real Medicine Foundation should there be insufficient funds for the distribution.
The RMF Nepal team, including Program Manager Ganesh Shrestha and Finance Manager Suman Gurung, visited the health posts again during the last week of November 2016.
Goals of this visit:
RMF team’s findings:
RMF’s team called for a meeting with supervisors of the health posts and asked for an inventory of the unused wheelchairs. RMF’s team visited each of the health posts to inspect the use of supplies and equipment and also to oversee the use of wheelchairs and crutches. Villagers who were in serious need of a wheelchair were shortlisted in the meeting, and a decision was made to have the wheelchairs distributed among the people who need them, rather than leaving the valuable equipment unused at the health posts. A program to have the wheelchairs distributed among the shortlisted villagers was organized for December 2nd, 2016 at Madan Kundari Health Post. The program was chaired by Mr. Jhanka Gautam, chairperson of the Madan Kundari Health Post Management Committee. RMF’s team used our vehicle to collect all of the unused 10 wheelchairs from the various health posts of Kavre district. However, we ensured that each of the health posts had at least one wheelchair remaining in their inventory.
The FCHV (Female Community Health Volunteer) program was initiated by the government of Nepal in the late 1980s to promote healthy behaviors among mothers and community members. FCHVs are dedicated, permanent residents of the VDC where they work. The involvement of FCHVs is critical to RMF’s objective of establishing a sustainable, affordable, reliable healthcare system and outreach that can cater to the health needs of the community.RMF’s 5-year program in Kavre district will depend on and revolve around the involvement of these volunteers, as they are focal persons in the community when it comes to educating, training, mobilizing, and providing health services and referrals to the heath posts and district hospital.* FCHVs hold a highly respected position within their community, and their involvement is imperative to the success of RMF’s health outreach in remote settings of Nepal.
Real Medicine Foundation has submitted a proposal to the government of Nepal to continue its support in Kavre district, seeking to
strengthen the healthcare system and operate a 5-year community health outreach program. The program will run in coordination with government facilities and will be aimed at strengthening the health system for a positive impact on the overall health of the community. Mr. Ganesh Kumar Shrestha joined RMF’s team to oversee the program’s implementation and the accomplishment of program objectives.
Unable to walk, hear, or speak from birth. Ms. Hira Lama’s disability meant that she could not express her feelings, but her mother was very happy to receive a wheelchair for her daughter. She said, “At least I will not have to carry her around all the time now, and we can move around more easily.”
At the age of 3, Arunima began having problems with her hip joint, and received physiotherapy at Dhulikhel Hospital. She was kept in the NCO children’s home, Naxal until 2015. After the earthquake in 2015, Arunima returned home. Ms. Arunima Lama was the happiest among the recipients, which could clearly be seen in her jubilant expressions throughout the program. She had always needed her father to move around, and now she could move on her own without her father’s help.
Madan Kundari – Wheelchairs have been distributed in a remote village of the Kavre district: Madan Kundari. On Friday, December 2nd, 2016, wheelchairs were distributed to 9 physically disabled people of Madan Kundari. The program, organized by the Madan Kundari Health Post, was chaired by Mr. Jhamka Gautam, the chairperson of the Health Post Management Committee. The program was conducted by the chief of the health post, Mr. Tej Bahadur Ghising.
Mr. Ganesh Shrestha was the chief guest and the program administrator. He is the Nepal representative for the organization that donated the wheelchairs, Real Medicine Foundation. Mr. Shrestha expressed his happiness to be able to provide medical supplies and equipment to remote areas east of Koshi in Kavre district. The chairman of Madan Kundari Health Post, Mr. Jhamka Gautam, expressed that he expects to receive similar humanitarian help from Real Medicine Foundation in the days to come as well. The program administrator and representative of Real Medicine Foundation, Mr. Ganesh Shrestha, has committed to providing assistance on the request. He also informed us of the five-year plan being developed to benefit 8 Village Development Committees (VDCs) east of Koshi in Kavre district.
The physically disabled, their guardians, and their representatives were provided with 7 wheelchairs, and the 2 individuals who were not able to be present at the program received wheelchairs when representatives visited their homes. Also, 5 wheelchairs were previously distributed through the assistance of Real Medicine Foundation in Dhuseni Shivalaya. Similarly, we were informed that wheelchairs were also sent to Gothpani, Pokhari Chauri, Kotali, and Birta Deurali through the program.
During the program, the welcome speech was given by Mr. Norbu Lama, a member of the Madan Kundari Health Post Management Committee. Mr. Basudev Dhakal, Chief of Gothpani Health Post, praised the humanitarian support. Similarly, Mr.
Balkrishna Gautam, acting Chief of Dhuseni Shivalaya Health Post who works as a coordinator for a medical equipment distribution program in the Koshi area, praised the exemplary role played by Real Medicine Foundation after a massive earthquake.