Nepal: Orphanage Support
404 Children Treated: Q4 2017
February 27, 2018
Ganesh Shrestha, Program Manager and Pragya Gautam, Program and M&E Coordinator
Summary of Activities
Currently, RMF supports two NCO children’s homes in Kathmandu, located at Naxal and Sifal, with 2 nurses and 1 auxiliary nurse. RMF’s nurses provide 24-hour, daily care for the children sheltered in these homes. Nurses provide both preventive and curative health services to all the children as well as the staff of NCO. As a result of their continuous presence, they are able to diagnose children more efficiently, leading to earlier diagnosis and treatment. RMF’s nurses are especially committed to providing care for children with chronic diseases and special needs, as these children are more vulnerable to infections and require special care.
Apart from providing nursing staff for these two NCO children’s homes, RMF also provides financial support for more extensive medical treatment. When a child has a serious illness, his or her case is taken over by RMF. The child is treated at the appropriate hospital in Kathmandu, and RMF bears all the cost of investigation, treatment, and hospitalization.
RMF Nurses Make an Impact
Children Healthier, Fewer Hospital Visits
NCO director Mr. Bal Krishna Dangol has thanked RMF for providing unmatched support to the organization. Since the RMF nurses came to NCO homes, the children have fallen ill less often, and the number of hospital visits has decreased drastically. Mr. Dangol also said that high government officials were very pleased with the RMF nurses’ work. He hopes that RMF will continue providing healthcare to NCO children.
NCO Health Camps
Naxal and Sifal
Lions Club Tripureshwor conducted this camp with their health personnel. All the children from NCO Naxal and Sifal homes were examined for dental, eye, and other medical conditions. Children who were found to have health problems were counseled and basic medicines were provided while RMF nurses took notes on their condition and recommended treatments.
In total, 180 children and 44 staff members were examined. The event was a success, and NCO’s administration thanked Lions Club Tripureshwor for their support as well as the RMF nurses for their efforts throughout the camp.
National Vitamin A Program
RMF Nurses at both NCO homes organized deworming events on different dates. Because NCO home Naxal has younger children, the nurses administer deworming medication and vitamin A, as per the National Vitamin A Program, twice a year to all children 6–59 months of age. Because there are older children at NCO home Siphal, RMF Nurse Pushpa personally conducts the deworming program with the help of NCO authorities who acquire the medicines from the nearest community health center.
Promoting Religious Harmony
Although Nepal is a culturally rich country with many traditional festivals throughout the year, many Hindus also celebrate Christmas simply because Nepalese people enjoy celebrations. The Nepalese government has even declared Christmas a public holiday in order to promote religious harmony. Santa Claus is a favorite mythical character among the children, who are always excited for him to bring them gifts. To celebrate Christmas at NCO this year, the children put on Christmas hats and sang and danced all day long.
Children Cultivate Talents
Nepalese schools have winter vacations, so NCO children are out of school during that time. RMF nurses fill this free time with fun educational and recreational activities. They work to make sure that this leisure time productive and also helps the children cultivate their talents.
A Family Environment
Giving Children a Place to Belong
NCO provides more than just shelter and medicine to the children; it provides a family environment where they can truly feel at home. For example, the children refer to the female staff who care for them as “Mamu,” meaning mother, and RMF nurses as “Didi,” meaning sister. This illustrates how NCO has brought together children without families and created an environment of nurturing, belonging, and support. This family environment is essential to these children’s emotional development.
Established in 1964, Nepal Children’s Organization (NCO), also known as Balmandir (The Children’s Temple) is one of the oldest non-profit organizations in Nepal working for the protection and promotion of childrens’ rights and providing residential care to the children at risk. This includes orphans, differently-abled, abandoned and conflict affected children.
After the devastating earthquake on April 25th, followed by another strong earthquake on May 12th, an estimated 2,023 children have been confirmed dead. Likewise, the number of the injured children has been established at 876 and approximately, 200 children have lost their mothers and 112 have lost their fathers. Nearly 2 million children are said to have been affected by this mega quake and the powerful aftershocks thereafter. (Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, June 2015)
Among those children who lost their parents, many have come under the tutelage of NCO, whose own shelter home was heavily destroyed by the disaster. Currently, through their 10 children’s homes within and outside Kathmandu valley, NCO has been caring for 280 children, including the earthquake-affected.
RMF will be supporting NCO in improving orphanage-based children’s health by providing better quality primary health care, including nutrition, sanitation and hygiene.
- Provide psychosocial counseling to deeply affected children
- Construct a room for infants
- Health and sanitation trainings for house mothers and children
- Construct a room for differently-abled children
- Provide better quality primary healthcare
- Provide qualified staff nurses at NCO’s centers
- Enhance knowledge and awareness of health and nutrition
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Digestive Health Improves
Lata Bhandari Improves Her Digestive Health Lata Bhandari is a disabled girl who has been at NCO for a long time. Children with disabilities often present common motility problems such as constipation. When Lata began to suffer from constipation, RMF Nurse Pushpa recognized the symptoms quickly. Her abdomen was bloated, and upon examination, the nurse confirmed that Lata was suffering from severe constipation. Nurse Pushpa first gave her an enema to ease her constipation. She then gave her a laxative syrup and also assisted her with physiotherapy. A few days later, Lata was able to pass stool normally thanks to Nurse Pushpa’s devoted care.
Fights a Chronic Ear Infection
Govinda Tamang is a 15 year-old-boy who lives at NCO home Siphal. His right ear was emitting discharge and pus, and the condition was somewhat impacting Govinda’s hearing. RMF nurse Pushpa took him to Bir Hospital for ENT consultation. He was diagnosed with a chronic middle ear infection with an infected sebaceous cyst.
Doctors opted for surgery, but since Bir Hospital is a government hospital, the queue for surgery was very long. 5 months later, he was admitted to the hospital for surgery. RMF Nurse Pushpa arranged the food, caretaker, and even the budget for the operation. She also visited him daily at the hospital.
He was discharged 4 days after surgery, and Nurse Pushpa removed his sutures and dressed the wound daily for a week. Govinda, who is now doing well, thanked Nurse Pushpa wholeheartedly for her efforts.
Treated for Dog Bite
Suraj Rai, an 8-year-old boy with Down Syndrome, resides at NCO home Siphal. He was playing on the NCO premises when he hit a stray dog and it bit his right leg. The attack left bite marks that were bleeding lightly. When she learned what had happened, Nurse Pushpa immediately took control of the situation. The boy was panic-stricken, so she consoled him as she washed the wound with soap and running water. She then took him immediately to Shukraraj Tropical and Communicable Disease Hospital in Teku where rabies vaccines are given to animal bite cases. He got the first dose of the vaccine as well as tetanus toxoid on the first day and then continued his rabies vaccinations for 4 more days.
Overcomes Serious Illness
Sumana Thapa was brought to NCO home Naxal long ago. She was a healthy girl who used to go to school with the other NCO children. Suddenly, Sumana started developing persistent swelling all over her body and experiencing problems with urination. She was rushed to Kanti Children’s Hospital where she was diagnosed with Nephrotic syndrome, a kidney disorder. She remained in the hospital for some time until she was discharged with medications.
After 8 months of treatment, repeated hospitalization, medication, and strict diet maintenance, Sumana has recovered and is no longer on medication. RMF Nurse Sanskriti monitored her constantly and carefully prepared food for her. She also counseled Sumana to provide emotional support. Sumana’s recovery is a great achievement not only for herself but also for the NCO staff and RMF nurses who cared for her throughout her illness.