RMF Clinical Officer examining Yunika
It was late in the afternoon when 21-year-old Yunika was brought to the RMF Health Clinic with heavy vaginal bleeding. She was weak, trembling, and afraid. RMF Clinical Officer Bishnu Sharma received her and found that Yunika’s history suggested that she was in the early stages of pregnancy. She was brought to the clinic by her neighbors, who were unaware of her condition. Yunika had been recently married, and because of this and her youth, she herself was not aware that she was pregnant. That is why she was very frightened by her condition.
Because comprehensive miscarriage and surgical services are not available at the RMF clinic in Arupokhari, Yunika had to be referred to a higher-level health center. Her husband was at work in the village, and until he arrived, she had to be taken care of. RMF Clinical Officer Bishnu secured an IV for the patient and infused two pints of Ringer’s lactate solution. This helped to maintain her fluid balance. Once Yunika’s husband arrived, she was taken to Gorkha District Hospital. There, she was diagnosed with an incomplete miscarriage and provided with post-miscarriage care, as well as counseling on self-care during this critical period. She was then discharged the next day.
After two weeks, Yunika visited the RMF Health Clinic for ferrous sulfate (iron) capsules, and she thanked RMF Clinical Officer Bishnu for saving her life by referring her at the right time. She also expressed her wish that the RMF clinic could directly provide services for such critical conditions, stating that many more women would receive prompt services and asking if RMF Clinical Officer Bishnu could ask the government to extend these essential services.
From January to April 2018, the RMF Health Clinic in Arupokhari, Gorkha has provided free health services to 2,684 patients. Goodwill towards the RMF clinic has spread so far that even patients who live closer to other health centers are traveling to the RMF Health Clinic, because we ensure the availability of medicines throughout the year and provide them at subsidized rates. RMF clinicians are also well respected and appreciated because they are providing health services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the mountain village of Arupokhari, where even the government has not been able to provide these services.
- 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
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.