I wanted to update you again and thank everyone who has contributed to our response efforts to provide clean drinking water and nutrition for earthquake victims.
Since the original earthquake on April 25th, donations have been received from supporters around the world that have helped in numerous ways. $11,000 has helped to feed over 2,000 volunteers and earthquake victims a week for 5 weeks, and other substantial donations of money and equipment have helped the hospital provide medical care directly to those who have been hardest hit. Good job everyone. We continue to provide free meals for hospitalized patients without funds but your generosity has helped us through the worst of the crisis. Things are starting to get back to normal.
Kirtipur Hospital is one of the few hospitals that survived the earthquake with the ability to provide medical care. The majority of injuries have been related to wounds and broken bones, and some burn injuries. Over 200 surgeries were completed free of charge and 800 earthquake victims were treated without reimbursement.
Now it’s time to “help the hospital heal”. Supplies need to be replenished. Funds are needed to address the economic deficit and maintain services that are still very much needed.
Some Interesting facts:
Women have lost the most in the recent earthquakes - More than 55% of the deaths as of June 3 were women. Sadly, this is not surprising: Studies have shown that women are more likely to be killed in natural disasters than men. Taking leadership roles in the recovery may also help women improve their position in the country.
One month after the first of two major earthquakes hit Nepal, an estimated 70,000 children under five are at risk of malnutrition and require urgent humanitarian support - according to UNICEF: “Before the earthquake, more than 1 in 10 children across Nepal were already suffering from acute malnutrition, while close to 4 in 10 had stunted growth due to chronic under-nutrition.”
Rebuilding is also urgent: This disaster cost Nepal about 50% of its GDP and at least one out of every 3,000 citizens. Women’s leadership will help sustain the newly found can-do spirit. There is rise in a “can-do” spirit among Nepalese and much talk about shaking the status quo.
More mobile help desks are needed to assess needs and gather feedback from the local people. The information should be shared with government and aid agencies, and in theory these stakeholders should manage relief efforts with strong and efficient routes to reach affected households and individuals.
The relief effort in Nepal is far from over. Our partners on the ground are continuing to work tirelessly to provide support and services to Nepalese in need. With your continued kindness and generosity, we can ensure a strong and lasting recovery.
Thank you again. Anyone wishing to contribute can do so safely and securely through our website.
Thank you for allowing me to share this information with you. We remain enormously grateful to you and to everyone who has supported our efforts in Nepal.
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.
Trishna had her surgery in May 2011. She was very happy with the results. She is now continuing her studies at college because her new look has given her more self-confidence.
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.