Nepal: Model Village
72 Students and Families Participate in School Health Program: Q2 2017
August 25, 2017
Ganesh Shrestha and Pragya Gautam
Summary of Activities
Soon after the earthquake, RMF began providing much-needed emergency health support to the people of Arupokhari, a remote village in Gorkha district. With the long-term vision of establishing, operating, and sustaining quality health services in the region, in January 2016, RMF opened a health clinic in Arupokhari. The health clinic that was previously operating in the region was severely damaged due to the earthquake, and it had since remained closed. RMF constructed a temporary structure in the same location and has been providing health services such as an outpatient department (OPD) and emergency services, first aid, family planning and counseling, antenatal and postnatal care services, and a supply of pharmaceutical drugs. Health services are provided to the community for free, while pharmaceuticals are supplied at a subsidized rate. However, if any patient is unable to pay for the medicines, RMF provides them for free.
Since opening in January 2016, RMF Health Clinic has treated 9,382 patients, and it continues gaining more traction in the community. 1,814 of these patients were served between April and June of 2017 alone, with an average of 605 patients per month, the highest number to date.
School Health Program
72 Students and Families Participate
In addition to the curative and family planning services provided by the clinic, RMF has expanded its health awareness program in the community and schools, starting in April 2017. 72 students and their families from 2 schools in the clinic’s catchment area benefited from RMF’s health education program. The sessions were conducted on personal hygiene and sanitation.
Quality Health Services
1,814 Patients Treated
The RMF Health Clinic is dedicated to providing health services to the residents of Arupokhari and its neighboring villages free of charge. From April to June 2017, 1,814 patients were treated at the RMF clinic in Arupokhari, with an average of 605 patients per month. Higher proportions of patients had respiratory, digestive, and skin ailments, as well as accidents or injuries, while headaches, body aches, and nutritional disorders were less prominent.
RMF to Transfer Activities
Working with our Local Partners
All of RMF’s activities in Gorkha are now conducted under the Health Care System Strengthening and Outreach Program. Once the project agreement is signed with local NGO partner System Development Service Center, the activities will be handed over to them, and then they shall conduct further programs.
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.
- Rebuild the village as a replicable model, which will include earthquake-safe structures designed by architects and engineers
- Use local natural and human resources to ensure ownership and sustainability
- Improve healthcare access and education based on the needs of the communities and with the leadership of the local people
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Dental Pain and Oral Infection
Radhika Baniya, an elderly 70-year-old woman, visited RMF Health Clinic because of excruciating dental pain due to cavities. On examination, the RMF clinician found that her tooth had a large cavity and the gums surrounding it were swollen with pus. She was prescribed analgesics to subdue the pain and antibiotics for the oral infection. She was also told to gargle every 4 hours with warm salt water, which would provide additional relief, and to visit the clinic again after a week. At the follow-up visit, her pain had subsided.
Treated for Bleeding Wound
Anu Shrestha is a 6-year-old girl whose mother brought her to the RMF Health Clinic with a bleeding wound. The little girl was playing in a field, when she fell and hit her head. The cut was superficial. RMF staff received the patient, and cleaned and dressed her wound. She was instructed to return for a follow-up every other day for one week for redressing of the wound. Her injury is healing, and she is happy about the treatment.
Diagnosed with Pneumonia
Nabina Gurung is a toddler who was brought to the RMF clinic by her parents. On arrival, she was assessed, and it was found that her respiration was rapid, and she had a slight temperature. She was also lethargic. As her respiration rate was 56 breaths per minute, she was diagnosed with pneumonia according to IMNCI (Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illnesses) guidelines, and antibiotics were prescribed accordingly. Her parents were also counseled on the importance of nutrition and hygiene for proper growth and development. Nabina’s condition is improving.
Nabaraj Baniya, a 4-year-old boy, was brought to the RMF clinic with foul smelling pus discharging from both ears. He was prescribed oral antibiotics for one week as well as antibiotic ear drops. His parents were taught not to insert anything in his ears and not to use anything other than medicines. Nabaraj was also told to cover his ears while bathing, as water may enter the ear and cause further infection, which can lead to complications. At the follow-up visit, there was no discharge in his ears.
Sitaram Adhikari is a 64-year-old farmer who hails from Arughat-7. Sitaram is involved in the reconstruction efforts that have been ongoing in Gorhka since the destructive earthquake of 2015. While working in the construction area, he fell and received deep cut wound on his forehead from an iron rod. He was brought to the RMF clinic, where RMF Clinical Officer Bishnu Sharma started his treatment at once.
The wound was cleaned, and 5 stitches were applied. Then, it was dressed and bandaged. A single dose of tetanus toxoid injection was also given as a preventative measure. As it was head injury case, the patient was kept under observation for a few hours. There were no warning signs such as loss of vision, vomiting, bleeding from the nose or ears, or loss of consciousness.
After resting for few hours, the patient was able to get up, at which time he was informed about the prescribed medicines, which included antibiotics and painkillers. Upon discharge, he was advised to visit the clinic every day for a week to have the wound redressed. It has now healed, and he has no problems with the injury.