Chinta Kumari Baram is an 89-year-old woman residing in the steep hills of Arupokhari, Nepal. As winter approaches, her health has been affected by the dropping temperatures. Because Chinta is very old and cannot move about, she was suffering from severe respiratory illness. She was living alone, with nobody in the house to take care of her. A neighbor informed RMF’s clinic staff about the elderly woman.
After learning of Chinta’s situation, RMF Clinical Officer Bishnu Prasad Sharma traveled to her home for a house call. There Chinta was lying outside of her house, wheezing and coughing badly. She had a fever, and her legs were swollen. She was in a poor condition. RMF’s clinician assessed her thoroughly. Chinta had a chest infection and had been suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) for many years. She could barely stand up and walk, and only her neighbors took care of her.
RMF Clinical Officer Bishnu kept Chinta in a comfortable position and gave her warm water to drink, as she was thirsty. He then provided a medication to loosen the mucus in her respiratory system. After a while of taking the medication, she told him that she was feeling far better. Due to the warm water she drank, she was able to cough out some mucus, which also gave her some relief. Leaving Chinta with some antibiotics for the chest infection and a bronchodilator plus furosemide to reduce the swelling of her legs, RMF’s clinician asked the neighbor to keep informing him about Chinta’s condition. She was also advised to go to the district hospital for a check-up. RMF Clinical Officer Bishnu returned to Chinta’s house twice after that to check on her condition, and he found that she was improving.
Chinta Kumari Baram felt as if she was sent an angel to rescue her out of her misery. She was very thankful to RMF’s clinician for his help during this difficult time.
The RMF Health Clinic has gained respect and goodwill in Gorkha, as it is the only health facility that provides continuous, high quality services to the people of Arupokhari and its neighboring villages. Health services are free of charge, while medications are provided at minimal cost. In the month of September alone, 717 patients benefitted from the clinic, and the number of patients served from January to September 2017 is 5,418.
In line with RMF’s concepts and the government of Nepal’s vision for a comprehensive and eventually sustainable Model Village, RMF, in close partnership and collaboration with Sarswati Foundation will be working towards the development of a Model Village in Arupokhari. Sarswati Foundation has been working in Arupokhari, Gorkha since 2009 as a non-profit. This was co-founded by Subhash Ghimire, a native from that village and editor-in-chief of the Republica, Nepal’s leading English daily that publishes with the New York Times in Kathmandu.
Following the devastating earthquake, the non-profit has been actively engaged in relief and reconstruction works in the area, which includes providing food and temporary shelter relief to the affected people. So far, the foundation has delivered 7.5 tons (100 sacks of 30 kg rice, 50 sacks of 50 kg lentils, 500 sacks of 0.5 L of oil, 500 packets of 1 kg salt, 495 blankets, 350 tents) to the community, and aims to rebuild the village as a replicable model, which will include earthquake-safe structures designed by architects and engineers, utilizing local natural and human resources to ensure ownership and sustainability, improved healthcare access, education and livelihood programs, based on the needs of the communities and with the leadership of the local people.
Similarly, the village also holds a huge potential as a thriving Manaslu trekking route, along with a 600-megawatt hydro project being planned around in the area. In addition, the community is also actively engaged in production of local agricultural products and livestock. With a thought-out detailed plan, the opportunities of the village could be tapped in to create a replicable, integrated and sustainable Model Village.
RMF supports the rebuilding of Sarswati Peace School (more than 200 students, mostly from economically and culturally marginalized backgrounds) and Darbar Higher Secondary School (public school with more than 400 students), both of which were badly damaged during the earthquake. The current plan is to demolish the existing damaged structure and construct earthquake resistant buildings.
Along with the support to the reconstruction of the schools, the model village project also seeks to help build at least 100 temporary shelters and 700 permanent houses to the identified most vulnerable households in the community and one earthquake resistant local health center. Health services, education, and the economy will be supported for the long-term as the people of Arupokhari build a stronger future in collaboration with RMF and Sarswati.