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Nepal: Free Health Camps

Free Health Camps for Cold Affected Communities: January 2018

January 18, 2018
Ganesh Shrestha and Deanna Boulard

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Patients receiving free health consultations.

Patients receiving free health consultations.

Severe Winter Weather

Community in Need

At the beginning of January 2018, a cold wave swept across the southern plains of Nepal’s Terai region, bringing severe winter conditions. According to the Nepal government’s Meteorological Forecasting Division, this cold wave will continue. As of January 13, 2018, the intense cold weather has claimed 40 lives. Many people, especially children and the elderly, are suffering from pneumonia, diarrhea, and hypothermia. This same region was devastated by extensive flooding caused by severe monsoon rains in the summer of 2017. The flooding destroyed homes and livelihoods, making already impoverished communities more vulnerable to the elements.

Patients were glad to receive medicines, which would otherwise be inaccessible to most.

Patients were glad to receive medicines, which would otherwise be inaccessible to most.

RMF’s Presence

Relief Efforts Begin

Real Medicine Foundation (RMF) arrived in Nepal shortly after the April 2015 earthquake, and we continue to provide disaster relief, medical services, and education support in several regions of the country. RMF Nepal’s cold wave relief efforts are concentrated in the Terai region, building on our flood relief work and partnerships formed in the area during the summer and fall of 2017. We are working with a local partner organization, BHORE, and the local government to provide relief to families most vulnerable to the extreme cold.

Mothers and children seeking medical attention at the RMF-supported health camp in Pakali Tole.

Mothers and children seeking medical attention at the RMF-supported health camp in Pakali Tole.

Medical Care Needed

RMF Health Camps

In an article posted on January 7, 2018, The Himalayan Times describes the concern expressed by the National Human Rights Commission for the most vulnerable communities, explaining that in addition to a* lack of blankets and warm clothing*, people have died from typically minor ailments, such as the common cold or a fever, due to the lack of medical attention and basic drugs like paracetamol. To help treat these and other illnesses caused or complicated by the cold, RMF Nepal quickly began supporting free health camps for cold affected communities. Thus far in early January, RMF has supported two health camps in the area of Itahari, Terai region.


 

Free Health Camp I

The community of Musahari Tole

On January 10, 2018, RMF supported a free health camp in cooperation with the Itahari Sub-Metropolitan CityOffice. The camp was held in the Musahari Tole area of the municipality. RMF provided medicine for the event, while the city provided medical professionals. 168 vulnerable community members received essential care and medicines through this free health camp.


 

Free Health Camp II

The community of Pakali Tole

On January 11, 2018, RMF supported a second free health camp in coordination with the municipality. This health camp was held in Pakali Tole area, one of the poorest communities of Itahari sub-metropolitan city and Sunsari District. Once more, the Itahari Sub-Metropolitan City Office provided medical professionals and RMF provided medicines. 153 people were served at this second health camp, and most patients were women and children. Both the mayor and the health coordinator of the municipality were very thankful to RMF for our support.

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+  View Objectives
  • To provide free medical care to people from underserved and disaster affected communities in Nepal
  • To build a network of partners throughout Nepal, strengthening local ties and disaster preparedness
+  View Background

83.4% of Nepal’s population lives in rural areas, and more than 25% live below the poverty line (2016). Adequate healthcare services are not easily accessible to millions of Nepalese. There is 1 doctor for every 100,000 people in rural areas of Nepal, compared to 1 doctor for every 850 people in the urban Kathmandu valley. Specialized medical treatment is only available at hospitals in urban areas, and many rural government health facilities lack basic equipment, some have been closed for years due to lack of staff.

Real Medicine Foundation (RMF) Nepal, in collaboration with our local partners, sponsors free health camps in rural and disaster affected regions of Nepal. We sponsor 1–3 health camps each month, prioritizing communities who remain in temporary housing after the 2015 earthquake or those newly affected by natural disasters.


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Photos

(click to enlarge)
  • A baby bundled up against the cold at an RMF-supported, free health camp.
  • Patients young and old being examined by medical workers.
  • Community members being registered and examined by medical workers.
  • A city worker distributes RMF-provided medicines.
  • Itahari medical team with RMF Program Director Ganesh Shrestha.
  • Community members wait for medical consultations and medicine.
  • Many mothers brought their children for check-ups and medicine.
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