Post Card from Nepal
Dec. 7, 2012
As we near the close of 2012, Children’s Medical Aid Foundation (CMAF) is pleased to celebrate the Nepalese children, women and families whose lives have been transformed through our programs and activities.
Corrective Surgery Program - Under the direction of Nepalese plastic surgeon Dr. Shankar Rai, 131 children received corrective surgeries and physical therapy treatments. Thirty percent of these surgeries were performed at Kathmandu Model Hospital by the Plastic Surgery Department; and 70% were performed by the mobile surgical team in13 rural outreach camps in Butwal, Nepalgang, Biratnagarr, Pokhara, and Suket. Learn more about our Corrective Surgery Program.
Medical Facilities/Supplies - In April 2012, CMAF helped open a clinic in Bhawanee, Nepal, serving an estimated 30,000 residents in the region. We raised funds through GlobalGiving and individual gifs, recruited volunteer doctors and nurses, and procured donations of equipment and supplies. Learn more by going to our Medical Facilities/Supplies page. In addition, CMAF donated 50 pounds of medical textbooks to facilitate the education of Nepalese nurses and technicians at Kathmandu Model Hospital.
Coming in 2013 - Carol Vernal, CMAF CEO, has been in Nepal since October 2012, meeting with Nepal-based NGOs to explore partnerships for mobile eye and dental clinics in rural Nepal, as well as arranging medical tours that will combine in-the-field volunteer opportunities for medical professionals with an exciting sightseeing itinerary. We have four dental camps scheduled already for 2013, with one dental camp tour in the fall, and a yoga tour in the spring. Proceeds from the tours will benefit CMAF programs.
Thank you to all those who have shared our vision and passion for children and families in Nepal. We look forward to many new adventures in the coming year!
Before/After Corrective Surgery
CMAF has changed the lives of more than 500 children with congenital birth defects
– we seek to serve 100 children each year!
Stories of Changed Lives
Trishna is an 18-year-old girl from the central hilly region of Nepal. She is a student in the Plus 2 college. She was born with a large, hairy mole on the right side of her face. She used to cover her face with her hair to conceal the mole. Her parents became more worried as she approached marriageable age, knowing that she had very little chance of finding a husband who would marry a disfigured woman. She did not want to go to college because she was ridiculed and isolated by her peers. Trishna’s parents had accepted her deformity as being a lifetime curse and had no idea about the possibility of surgical correction.
Trishna came to know about CMAF through one of our outreach coordinators who educated Trishna and her parents about corrective surgery and how it would improve her life and dispel superstitions and beliefs in bad karma. Trishna comes from a lower middle class family and would not have been able to afford the surgery. CMAF covered all costs involved with the surgery and post-operative care.
Ritima is a 6-year-old girl from the far eastern plains of Nepal. She was born with a condition known as syndactyly, which means fused fingers on both hands. Ritima was reluctant to go to school because of her abnormal-looking hands. She had been the subject of ridicule among her peers and feared due to superstitions about birth defects. She was isolated from her friends and community.
Ritima came to our attention while the mobile medical team was in Biratnagar, near her hometown, during one of our screening camps. Functionally, her condition did not handicap her, but if left untreated, it could cause the longer of the two fingers to bend towards the shorter one during growth, and leave it bent, even if separated. Once Ritima knew her fingers could be separated and look normal, she was very happy.
A key challenge in helping children like Ritima, who live in rural areas of Nepal, is that it can take many hours to reach the nearest clinic or medical assistance. From where Ritima lives, it usually takes more than 18 hours of bus travel to get to Kathmandu. Fortunately, she only had to travel 4-5 hours to get to Biratnagar.
Ritima had her surgery in Biratnagar in May 2011. She was delighted during the first dressing change to see her separated fingers. We did the surgery on only one hand because bandaging and plaster on both the hands makes it difficult for the children to take care of themselves. We will perform surgery on the other hand in August.
Ritima is now back in school and playing with her friends, and enjoying her life with her family.