Corrective Surgery Program
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 (a native of Nepal), to treat a broad range of congenital defects. These include syndactylism (webbed fingers), disfiguring 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.
Medical Facility Development
While CMAF Founder and CEO Carol Vernal was in Nepal in late 2010, she learned of an opportunity to open a clinic in Bhawanee, a village in rural Nepal. In partnership with the Chisang Service Committee, CMAF helped raise funds to refurbish a vacant building, purchased or obtained donated medical equipment and supplies, and helped recruit volunteer doctors and nurses to train and work with local Nepali staff at the clinic.
We are proud to have helped Chisang Clinic celebrate its opening on April 13, 2012, providing access to medical care for an estimated 30,000 villagers – more than half of whom are children – living in Bhawanee and the surrounding area. The Chisang Service Committee, will continue to operate the clinic.
Children’s Medical Aid Foundation is partnering with the Public Health Concern Trust in Nepal (phect-NEPAL) to improve the availability and quality of healthcare for women, children and trauma victims in Eastern Nepal.
In 2009 and 2010, we participated in Phase I of a project to build a 50-bed hospital in Itahari to serve the needs of the community and neighboring districts. The hospital will be in close proximity to the main East-West highway intersection to better serve automobile accident victims and trauma patients with immediate care and transfer to a higher level medical center when needed.
When completed, Itahari Hospital will provide the following services:
- Reconstructive surgery for children with congenital defects
- Surgical repair of post burn contractures
- Pediatric Services
- Outpatient Department
- OB/GYN Services
- Emergency Room/Trauma Center for traffic accident victims
The Itahari Hospital project is a collaborative endeavor. The local Itahari community has embraced the project and contributed funds to purchase the building site. The Itahari Hospital Construction Committee meets regularly in Nepal with representatives from the local Pakali Village Development Committee, phect-NEPAL and Nepalese Rotary Clubs. Rotary Clubs in Nepal and the U.S. work together to provide funding support as well as assistance in the selection and procurement of building supplies.
CMAF regularly solicits, collects and distributes donated and reduced-cost medical equipment and supplies for the Corrective Surgery Program. We will also be collecting supplies needed to reopen and operate the Chisang Clinic in Bawanee, East Nepal. Most supplies are collected and courriered to Nepal by our volunteers. Large equipment or large-volume crates of supplies are shipped, then distributed by our volunteers in Nepal.
If you represent a medical supplier or facility and would like to learn how you can help us collect and distribute the equipment and supplies needed in Nepal, please contact Carol Vernal, CEO of CMAF, at (707) 938-1807 or contact us by email.