January 18, 2020

Corrective Surgery Program

CMAF is using new social enterprise opportunities to raise funds for our activities. We are now proud owners of a B&B in Kirtipur, which will help support the Kirtipur Burn Clinic. The clinic provides corrective surgery for burn-caused deformities, as well as post-burn care to help avoid burn-related deformities. Only one single and one double room are available at this time, but in April we will add another single and one more double room. TV, Internet and hot water are available. CMAF also now has a guest house listed on  Air BnB and can be seen by CLICKING HERE. The cost ranges from $20/night to $200 for three months, and includes three meals for hospital volunteers and breakfast-only for other visitors. MORE DETAILS TO COME!   About CMAF Two percent of Nepalese children are born each year with a congenital defect that is easily detectable at birth. This is a higher rate than children born in Western countries. Some contributing factors are poor nutrition, inherited tendencies, absence of pre-natal care, and mineral deficiencies during gestation. For many children, surgical intervention may be their only chance to be freed from the stigma, shame and handicaps associated with a congenital defect. While some organizations focus on the important work of correcting cleft lip and palate defects, CMAF seeks to assist children with other types of birth defects - children that would have no other alternative if CMAF did not assist them. We help locate children in need (often by word-of-mouth), educate families about their options, and work to dispel the fears and beliefs related to the cause of the defects. CMAF partners with a specially trained Nepalese Mobile Surgical Team, lead by world-renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Shankar Rai, to treat a broad range of congenital defects. These include syndactylism (webbed fingers), large facial moles, polydactyly (supernumerary fingers or toes) and hypospadius (male genito-urinary problems). Surgical reconstruction offers these children with functional and aesthetic benefits, transforming their futures with the hope of a normal childhood and better life. Villagers with post-traumatic injuries such as ulcerated wounds and disfiguring scars are also eligible for surgical treatment. Services are provided to those in need at no charge, regardless of caste, religion, or political beliefs. Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world, with many Nepalese children living in remote villages where medical treatment is unavailable due to geographic restraints, poverty, lack of medical supplies and/or absence of trained personnel. CMAF addresses these barriers by providing support for the Nepalese Mobile Surgical Team; soliciting, collecting and delivering needed medical supplies; and assisting with post-operative services such as physical therapy, dressing changes, and support for families.


Welcome to Our Newest Board Members!


Sanjeeb Shrestha       Carol Vernal, CEO          Eric Chang

  Eric Chang Eric is an accomplished IT consultant with past experience as a high school math teacher for disabled children. He is also a veteran of the US Air Force (served for 14 years). As a Board volunteer, Eric brings his love of children and Nepal to CMAF.  Eric and Sanjeeb Shrestha have been friends since their school days in New York and are now united in their efforts to support the work of CMAF.   Sanjeeb Shrestha Last year, Sanjeeb Shrestha, a Nepali businessman, was introduced to Dr. Shankar Rai, the Nepal Director of CMAF Corrective Surgery Program.  After meeting Dr. Rai and learning about his work, Sanjeeb was deeply impressed and pledged his help and on-going support of our program.  He has volunteered to represent CMAF and act on our behalf in Nepal whenever needed. Thank you Sanjeeb - we are so very happy to have you aboard and part of our team!   Sheila Reilly SheilaRSheila brings a rich background in youth, health, and immigration-related issues to CMAF. She has an M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language and has been teaching ESL since 1979, including 10 years at a City College of San Francisco satellite school in the Tenderloin (Alemany Community College), and more than 13 years at College of Marin. She has worked with Southeast Asian refugees from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, including helping with refugee resettlement through the YMCA in the Tenderloin. She trained as a benefits counselor and case manager for people living with life-challenging diseases in 2001 and worked at two AIDS nonprofits in Marin County, including the Marin AIDS Project where she was hired to start the Hepatitis C case management program for the County.  Most recently, she has worked at Sonoma Developmental Center for six years as a Program Coordinator and Monitor for developmentally disabled clients.  

Medical supplies donated

In July, Mary Jane Stolte delivered 864 toothbrushes that were donated by Dr. Brattesani, a local Sonoma County dentist. Thank you for your generous donation, Dr. Brattesani and thank you Jane for your part in making the donation possible. You have made a difference in the lives of children by following through with an inspirational idea. In some rural areas of Nepal many children have never seen a toothbrush. A soft stick that becomes fibrous after use is utilized for cleaning teeth. Imagine that! We delivered the toothbrushes to a rural school in Nepal after learning of the childrens' need from a faith-based NGO working in Nepal.       A portable tourniquet system was purchased by CMAF  for $1,300 and donated to Kathmandu Model Hospital. This portable unit is used when working on extremities. It is a factor in reducing surgical time and making the surgeon’s work easier. Thank you to Delfi Medical, the manufacturer, for discounting the retail price by 50%. Thank you to Med Share for donating sutures and surgical instruments to CMAF. These medical supplies were delivered recently by CMAF CEO Carol Vernal to Dr. Pawan, Namita (a surgical nurse) and CMAF co-director Dr. Shankar Rai. These donated items are essential in providing corrective surgery at no charge to families whose children have disfiguring birth defects.

What they’re saying…

Sheila Reilly
Sonoma, CA
It is such a pleasure and a real privilege to support CMAF's work. I fell into mentoring a couple of Nepalese families in Sonoma County because I am an ESL teacher and then fell in love with the joyfulness of their culture, their true affection for and enjoyment of each other, the never-ending food and celebrations of life and their deep love for their children. I ran into many of the Nepalese families at the Kathmandu Festival every year and it was only natural that I would stop at the CMAF booth, pick up literature and see how I could help these beautiful and very loved children. Plus knowing how far an American dollar can be stretched in Nepal makes me feel that my little donations can help a lot. You and your network inspire me. I am so grateful to you and other all around the world helping the poor and sick. It's comforting and makes me feel less helpless to know you're out there doing your amazing work.  
Rannell Dahl
Occupational Therapist
Sonoma Valley Hospital
You have improved the lives of hundreds of children. We're so proud of your amazing work and are spreading the word to our friends and healthcare colleagues to support CMAF!
Nisha Thapa, RN,
Co-Founder/Executive Director of Sahayeta.org, a Nepalese community network in the Bay Area.
You are one of the unsung heroes that truly inspires all of us. I am glad to have connected with you.
 Mr. Ramesh Tamrakar
Project Director
SOS Children’s Village
Kathmandu, Nepal
We highly appreciate the work carried out by Children's Medical Aid Foundation in Nepal. It has helped to save the lives of children in the rural areas. The Foundation joins hands with other organisations working in the medical field. We need the help of Children’s Medical Aid Foundation to reach many poor children in the rural areas, mainly in the hilly regions. We wish all the best for the Foundation’s future undertakings and assure our best support in the days ahead.  
Shankar Rai, MD
Nepal Director
CMAF Corrective Surgery Program
Kathmandu, Nepal
I met Carol Vernal through a mutual friend in Kathmandu, while she was visiting Nepal and helping many children on her own personal level. She has a medical background, and spent a couple of months with our medical outreach team to help children in remote areas of Nepal receive corrective surgeries for congenital and traumatic deformities (not including cleft lip and palate conditions, which are addressed by other medical programs). Carol was very much liked by all of our team members, which includes nurses, doctors, therapists and coordinators. Since then, she has been coming to Nepal every year to work with us and develop vital partnerships with Nepalese government agencies, NGOs and community groups. She has a thorough understanding of Nepalese cultures, religions, and social/political conditions that can impact our work. Inspired by the opportunity to continue changing children’s lives, Carol went back to the U.S. and started the Children’s Medical Aid Foundation (CMAF). CMAF helps raise funds for our Corrective Surgery Program, enabling us to reach about 100 children annually who have birth defects. More than 600 children have already received life-changing surgeries through the support of CMAF. Most of these children could not have received these services otherwise.  
Larry Barnett
Former Mayor of Sonoma, CA
For years, Children's Medical Aid Foundation (CMAF) has successfully delivered health care services to women and children in Nepal who would otherwise remain untreated and suffering from pain or disfigurement. It has done this despite the challenges posed by remote locations, poor transportation and infrastructure, limited financial resources, and social disruption within Nepal. The success of CMAF, despite the hardships and difficulties, speaks to the dedication of Carol Vernal and those with whom she works, and the trust and receptivity of the Nepalese people and health care providers in Nepal. That there is great need for the kind of services that CMAF provides is without doubt; insuring that the financial and logistical support that is needed to provide services is more tenuous. An NGO such as CMAF provides care that governments cannot or will not provide. The future of CMAF is entirely dependent upon the funding, contributions and generosity of those who recognize the merit and value of easing the suffering of others unable to otherwise afford such care.  
Ken Brown
Council Member, City of Sonoma, CA
It has been a wonderful experience to be able to assist the Children's Medical Aid Foundation over the course of many years. Through the leadership of Carol Vernal, this foundation has steadily been a healing presence on behalf of the women and children of Nepal. I have worked directly with CMAF to build awareness of CMAF’s mission, both here in Sonoma Valley, California and to the citizens of Nepal. The world is a difficult place at best, but it is only through the efforts of those like the Children's Medical Foundation that we can create positive change.

Celebrate the Nepali New Year!

Lohsar1Experience a Nepali New Year celebration! The public is invited to a Lohsar (Nepali New Year) Party at Veteran's Hall in Sonoma, Sunday, Feb. 24 starting 6:30 pm. Just $35 at the door for dinner, drinks, and entertainment! For more info call 707-938-1807.     Lohsar2

Holiday Shopping Online Can Benefit CMAF

This holiday season, you can help raise money for CMAF just by surfing the web or purchasing products online at no extra cost to you! CMAF is registered with the following online philanthropic search/shopping sites. Just type in your search information and select Children’s Medical Aid Foundation as your favorite charity. Donations paid by participating online merchants are usually 1-5% of the purchase price. Please share your favorite search site with your friends, family, and others who might be interested. Every dollar raised can make a difference in the lives of children in Nepal!     www.goodsearch.com or www.goodshop.com www.igive.com

Lucky Boy

CarolandBishnuBishnu, a14 Year old Nepali boy severed ligaments, bone and tissue of left hand while cutting wood with a sickle. It was a very complicated 3 hour surgery performed by Dr. Kiran, the only hand surgeon in Nepal and the director of the corrective surgery outreach team. With healing and a lot of therapy he will have use of his hand again. He made me think of my grandson Colin being that they are the same age but with very different lives. Both are very lucky boys. - Carol Vernal, CMAF Founder and CEO

Help raise funds for our work in Nepal

You can raise money for CMAF just by surfing the web or purchasing products online at no extra cost to you! CMAF is registered with the following online search/purchase services. Just type in your search information and select Children's Medical Aid Foundation as your charity. Set up any of these sites as your home page and make it easy to raise funds for CMAF. Every dollar raised can make a difference in the lives of children in Nepal!

Dental Camps

On World Aids Day (Dec. 1), CMAF coordinated a dental camp for HIV-positive children at Karuna Bhawan Orphanage. Some of these children have never seen a dentist. Under the direction of pediatric dentist Dr. Nitin, Carol and other volunteers helped apply fluoride treatments. Through our Dental Camp Program, Dr. Nitin and Dr. Samarika, both pediatric dentists, are donating their time to educate, examine and treat children. CMAF is recruiting volunteers and raising funds for fluoride and fissure sealant, gloves, and dental team transportation. The cost is only $1.50 per child, so $100 will help us reach 150 children! Future dental camps are planned for 2013:
Shree Path Pradash School
100 students
May & Oct. 2013
Tsoknyl Gebchak Ling Buddhist Nunnery
127 nuns
Schedule TBD
Namgyal Higher Secondary School
400 students
May & Sept. 2013
Also planned in 2013 is a Dental Camp fund-raising trip that incorporates a unique tour of Nepal's historic and cultural treasures, along with opportunities to join our Dental Camp team as a volunteer. The trip is scheduled for Sept. 12-21, 2013, with Dental Camp visit Sept. 13-15.  

Chisang Clinic

One of the clinic's first patients.

Thanks in part to CMAF funding and volunteer support, Chisang Clinic officially opened on April 13, 2012. Within two weeks more than 200 patients were seen! Locals have already donated sand, bricks and their time to do the groundwork for a clinic extension that will increase capacity for providing education, screenings and treatment. The overall goal of the clinic is to promote women’s health through the provision of maternity and obstetrics care, including antenatal, natal, and postnatal care and monthly Well Women Clinics. Chisang Clinic also strives to improve the health of children through established Well Child Clinics and monthly Immunization Clinics. Additionally, use of the facility is provided to other local and international NGOs for special outreach programs such as eye and dental clinics.  Beyond acute clinical care, the clinic promotes community health through public health and disease prevention services designed to address local problems ranging from sexually transmitted infections and HIV, helicobacter pylori (bacteria in the stomach lining that can cause serious health problems), diarrhea, and maternal and child health. CMAF helped with the reopening of Chisang Clinic by: * Designing the program concept in partnership with Chisang Service Committee * Identifying construction needs and services for remodeling * Assessing the operational needs for staff and patients * Donating $13, 622 for remodeling and furnishings, raised through our GlobalGiving partnership and private donations * Facilitating donations of necessary medical supplies and equipment for patient care * Purchasing utrasound unit through private donations * Providing architectural drawings for remodel of current building as well as site plan for future expansion * Providing long-range planning for ongoing development of clinic services * Developing clinic logo, signage and promotional materials, such as post cards, posters, T-shirts and banners * Promoting clinic volunteer opportunities through partnership with Village Volunteers and participation in UC Global Health Day * Meeting with Nepal's UNICEF Director to initiate a working partnership focusing on abuse of women and children.   Check out our updated photo gallery on our Program page for Chisang Clinic, or go to our Facebook page and click on Photos/Clinic Pics!
Visit the Chisang Clinic website for the latest news and blog posts from Village Volunteers physician, Dr. Briana Cranmer.   May 30, 2012 update from Dr. Briana Cranmer of Village Volunteers: It is a hot April day in the village Chisang Clinic. As I am praying for rain or even just a soft breeze the curtain shifts and a mom enters with her child. Mom is young, maybe 18, she looks tired and slightly unsure of herself. Using my limited Nepali I tell her “bosnus, sit down.” I then turn to my wonderful translator Geeta and ask why mom is here. The baby has been sick, not eating, not drinking, and vomiting constantly for the entirety of her 17 days of life. Mom is at a loss. She says she is breastfeeding every hour, but only for five minutes at a time. She has tried supplementing with formula, but every time baby feeds, she “vomits.” This is mom’s first child, the pregnancy was normal, the delivery went smoothly, but baby only weighed two kilograms (4.4 pounds) at birth. I peek over mom’s arm and glimpse a sleeping baby girl. I gather her in my arms, shocked by her lightness. Medical school lesson #1: when evaluating a patient always determine, sick or not sick. Tiny warning bells sound off in my head, this baby is sick. Removal of each layer reveals a malnourished, underweight, lethargic baby girl in dire need of medical attention. Medical school lesson #2: never use the term “lethargic” when describing a baby unless you truly mean it. The warning bells are deafening, this baby needs immediate medical intervention. Baby’s fontanel is sunken and her heart is racing implying dehydration, her breaths are quick and shallow, but thankfully no sounds of pneumonia. She is tiny, skin and bones, and barely holding on to her two-kilogram birth weight. I consider the options available in this rural clinic, 1.5 hours and many kilometers from the nearest hospital. I remind myself that the clinic has only been open for two weeks and we are currently in limbo with regard to our ability to manage sick patients. If their fundraising efforts are successful, the Chisang Clinic at its peak in a year or two, will have a 4-5 bed inpatient unit for severely/acutely sick patients requiring 24 hour care and a 10-15 bed obstetrics labor and delivery ward. The clinic will have IV fluids and nutrition, heart and oxygen monitors, an extensive pharmacy, and all of the medical resources necessary to nurse this baby to a proper weight and health. Although, construction is underway and funds are being raised, I am currently without the necessary resources. My options are either to attempt to manage baby with my limited supplies or refer her to the hospital in Biratnagar. In America, when you make a referral it is typically because you believe a different facility or doctor may have the knowledge or skills more fitting to the needs of the patient. I quickly learned that this was not true when it came to the hospitals and physicians nearest to the Chisang Clinic. Often, I discovered patients received lesser care or no care compared to what I was able to offer. So when I was faced with a medical challenge involving one of my babies, I did the only thing I could think of. I asked advice from the most reliable source I could think of - my sister, a pediatrician in Seattle, WA. In my anxiety over the severity of my baby’s condition, I forgot the twelve-hour time difference to the U.S. and she received a 4:00 a.m. consult call from Nepal. Ooops! Ultimately I recognized that without IV fluids and proper nutrition this baby girl might not survive. Her needs were beyond my ability to provide care. I sent mom to the hospital with a detailed medical note and instructions to return if there were any problems. As they walked away, I sent a handful of prayers after them in hope that they would receive the medical attention they deserved. It has been a week since my encounter with the 17-day-old baby girl. Suddenly, while on my weekly home visits, I find myself standing on her front stoop. An elderly lady sits next to a bundle of blankets. As I approach, a tiny hand shoots up out of the mass with a second tiny hand following close behind. My heart jumps as I peek into the bundle and see baby’s sweet smile. I gather her into my arms, forgetting to ask for permission in my excitement. Baby did in fact receive care at the hospital and she was finally eating better and gaining weight. I look forward to the continued development of the Chisang Clinic and their future ability to manage patients such as this baby girl. Soon enough as the clinic continues to grow, the people of Bhawanee village and the surrounding areas will be saved the 2000 rupees cost of transportation and the stress of being far from home. Instead, this community will be provided with caring healthcare providers who offer patience, a kind ear, and advanced medical care.