Nepal: Orphanage Support
Camp Held for Children with Disabilities: Q1 2018
April 25, 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 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 the 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 costs of investigation, treatment, and hospitalization.
During this reporting period, these notable activities were carried out at NCO homes:
- 463 children were treated by RMF Nurses at NCO homes Naxal and Sifal
- Medical supplies and equipment were provided to NCO during an event
- RMF pediatricians began to visit NCO homes on a weekly basis
- Dental camps were organized at NCO home Naxal, and children were given free treatment at Kantipur Dental Hospital
- A 3-day winter camp led by RMF nurses was held for children with disabilities
Dental Camps at NCO
Promoting Oral Hygiene
A dental camp was organized by Kantipur Dental Hospital at NCO Naxal during which they not only examined the children and assessed their dental health but also taught them proper brushing techniques and the importance of oral hygiene.
In total, 63 children received examinations, and RMF nurses took those who needed dental procedures to Kantipur Dental Hospital for treatment.
The program was very successful as the children learned the importance of dental hygiene, and few of them needed tooth fillings due to dental cavities.
Nurse Sanskriti Shrestha
Pursuing Higher Education
After working with RMF from its establishment in Nepal, Sanskriti Shrestha said goodbye to RMF in February 2018. A hard-working and dedicated nurse who cared for the children of NCO, she also aspired to pursue higher education. Sanskriti was an ambitious nurse with a very kind heart who was adored by the NCO children.
She used her knowledge and skills to maintain a healthful environment within the home, and also taught the kitchen staff and “mamus” (caregivers) about the importance of a balanced diet. She has moved to Australia to achieve her dream of higher education.
New RMF Nurse at NCO
Abina Kakshapati is a registered nurse who completed her Proficiency Certificate Level in nursing at Maharajgunj Nursing Campus in 2015. She is a hardworking and devoted woman who is interested in expanding the horizon of her experience before pursuing further studies.
She has been appointed to work at NCO as a residential RMF nurse at a home in Naxal. Her duties include providing round-the-clock nursing care to sick children, caring for infants and toddlers, providing health education and counseling, taking sick children to the hospital, vaccinating infants according to the national schedule, and recording and reporting all information.
RMF Provides Medical Supplies
Granted to Staff at Local Event
After nurses reported challenges in caring for injured and sick children as a result of medical supply shortages, RMF organized a brief event on March 21 to support NCO with additional medical supplies and equipment. At the event, RMF Program Manager Mr. Ganesh Shrestha gave the support materials to Mr. Balkrishna Dangol, Director of NCO home Naxal.
On behalf of NCO, Mr. Balkrishna Dangol delivered closing remarks expressing his gratitude to RMF, especially for providing support on such short notice. The supplies delivered at this event will be used by RMF nurses to care for sick and injured children as well as to monitor their growth and development patterns. RMF nurses were also grateful for the supplies which will improve the efficiency of their work.
RMF Pediatricians Make Weekly Visits
Children’s Health Status Improved
RMF nurses have gained more experience in assessing, identifying, and treating minor illnesses, but they lack the training and expertise to identify serious illnesses on physical symptoms alone. However, taking children to the hospital often caused frustration due to long wait times, even for simple checkups.
To help resolve some of these issues, RMF management decided to utilize the pediatricians they already had working by scheduling weekly visits to NCO homes. NCO’s director was consulted about the idea and agreed enthusiastically. As a result, the pediatricians began to visit the homes each Wednesday, which has improved the health status of the children and RMF nurses are also able to apply their energy, time, and resources to their other duties.
Winter Camp at NCO
February 2-4, 2018
Both for recreation and to promote the growth and development of the children, a 3-day winter camp was organized at NCO home Sifal. Non-disabled children and children with disabilities participated in activities together in order to maintain harmony and promote respect.
The children enjoyed many games designed for children with disabilities and were taken to Central Zoo in Jawalakhel, Lalitpur. The children were then taken to the Cerebral Palsy Center in Dhapakhel, Lalitpur, where they spent time with other children who have disabilities related to cerebral palsy. This experience helped the NCO children with disabilities understand that they are not alone in their condition, which helps children strengthen their coping abilities and builds up their self-esteem.
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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Blocked Tear Duct Repaired
Hardik Lama was taken to Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology because it was difficult for him to blink normally due to dry eyes. He was diagnosed with a blocked tear duct and underwent a minor procedure called lacrimal duct syringing. After the procedure, the blockage was cleared. He was discharged and scheduled for a regular follow up appointment. The doctors instructed RMF nurses to bring Hardik back immediately if the symptoms did not subside, but fortunately, he healed well, and his eyes are now healthy. RMF nurses cared for him throughout his treatment and healing process.
Correctly Diagnosed and Treated
Suchana Balika is a 4-month-old infant who has been sick since she was brought to NCO. She had a serious fever, the cause of which could not be identified even after three admissions to the ICU at Kanti Children’s Hospital. Her first ICU admission lasted 4 days, the second one lasted 9 days, and the third lasted 7 days. During the third admission, after the diagnostic procedures failed to produce a precise diagnosis for the condition, the doctors suspected tuberculosis and started antitubercular treatment (ATT). Once Suchana began ATT, her condition started improving drastically. RMF nurses took care of her both during hospitalization and also as she recovered in the NCO home. They are happy that her condition is improving, and she is feeling better.