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   Karing for Kids (KFK Nepal) Update

Update: Hello EverestNews! Namaste

I have just returned to Kathmandu after spending 3+ weeks at our clinic in the Rasuwa district. It has been an amazing experience and I have come away with many new friends and lots of ideas for KFK. We made some much needed improvements to the clinic. The single most important one is that we now have running water in the clinic. In addition, we have a faucet just outside the main clinic door and we now require every patient we see to wash their hands with soap and water before they are seen. This will hopefully make a big impact as the main goal of KFK is to teach the people that we serve about public health and how to lead healthier lives.

I was able to make a trip to each of the 3 villages we serve, Gatlang, Goljung, and Chilime, to see patients not able to make the walk to the clinic. For the most part, the patients I saw were not severely ill, but either needed some minor medications or more often, some healthy living advice.

One very sad note....there was a 6 month old who came into the clinic about 1 week ago in very severe respiratory distress. I could here the fluid in his lungs from across the room. He obviously needed to be intubated and needed full respiratory support, neither of which was possible at the clinic. I tried to explain to the parents, that they must go straight to Dunche (the nearest hospital, about a 4 hour walk) right away or their baby could die. In fact, I was pretty sure that the baby would not survive that long, but there was nothing I could do at the clinic. We found out later that day, the parents had returned home to Goljung and that their child had died an hour after I saw him. They wouldn't have made it to Dunche anyway....really a very sad, but not uncommon scenario up here. However, these people have a very different view of death here, then we do in the west. My impression after living with them for 3 weeks is that death, although certainly very sad, especially when young children die, is just another part of life, and another step in the long chain of events.

When I first got to the clinic, they were treating a young girl, Dawa, 15, who 4 months previously had developed cellulitis (skin infection), which progressed to osteomyelitis (bone infection) and septic arthritis (joint infection) of her left leg. She had spent 5 weeks in the hospital in Kathmandu. When I first saw her, she had what appeared to be a chronic infection of her leg. After 2 weeks on what I could only presume to be the correct antibiotics, her leg had still not improved. So I sent her to Dunche, which is the closest "hospital" to the clinic. They have about 10 beds, can take basic xrays, and do very basic labs...that's it. I sent her to get an xray, to see if there were any problems with the bone. About 1 week before, I had made the 4 hour walk to Dunche to get some supplies for the clinic and also to speak with the physician in charge there. It turns out, he is new to the job, but a really nice guy who wants to help the clinic and KFK. I think it will be a great relationship for both of us. So Dawa went and had her xray, and returned to the clinic 2 days before I was to leave. I'm not sure how much the xray helped, but I told Dawa and her father that she really needed to go back to Kathmandu to seek further treatment. For all you medical people, just getting cultures and sensitivities is a challenge here and can only be done in Kathmandu. So Dawa and her father agreed to come back to Kathmandu with us so I could take her to the hospital here.

Yesterday, Pragati Ghale (director of day to day operations of KFK and a long time nurse) and I took her to the big teaching hospital here. WOW! That place is insane! We walked in and there were hundreds, no exageration, hundreds of people in the hallway, trying to get in, to see a physician. Its exactly what it looks like in the movies...I'm sure very typical of a hospital in a developing country. Fortunately for Dawa, Pragati had worked as a nurse at the hospital for 15 years and so she knows many people there. That allowed us to get in to see a physician in about 30 min, otherwise it would have taken all day. So I told this physician who I think was an orthopedist, about her story. She got an xray (which took another 2hrs) and she is going back in a few days to get her wound cultured. Then Pragati took me upstairs to see the operating theatres and the ICU beds. As a nice comparison for you all....this is the largest hospital in Nepal - it has 500 beds, 8 ORs, and 5, yes only 5 ICU beds for the whole hospital. I don't know...do you think there is a problem here with medicine???

My time at the clinic and here in Nepal has been life-changing. I do not have the words to describe what I have seen or what I feel. This is truly a beautiful country, with beautiful and amazing people. I wish you all could experience what I have.

Sincerely, Ari Stern KFK-Nepal

Karing for Kids (KFK Nepal) runs a Mother and Child Health Clinic (MCH-Clinic) in the rural mountain communities of Rasuwa, Nepal. KFK Nepal is a non-government charity organization working to save the lives of children in Nepal since 1997.

KFK-Nepal’s MCH Clinic has been providing the medical services to approximately 7,000 people of remote Gatlang, Goljung, and Chilime villages of Rasuwa district since late 2000. Before this clinic was established, there was no medical service available in these communities. Because of the extreme level of poverty in these communities and remoteness from a nearby hospital, which is about a days walking distance, most people could not manage to get medical care when they were sick. Seeking care from local healers who did not have access to modern medical techniques or treatments and  was the only option. Government outreach immunization services were so infrequent and irregular that many children were left without immunization against the major childhood illnesses. Prior to KFK’s Clinic it was difficult to find a mother who had not lost a child and impossible to find a household without a sick person. It is estimated that the Child and Maternal Mortality rates of these communities have been almost two-to-three times higher than the national average. Nepal's average infant mortality rate, 78 deaths per 1000 live births, and average maternal mortality rate, 539 deaths per 100,000 live deliveries, are among the highest in the world.

KFK operates on an extremely low budget. For about the cost of lunch in an American restaurant, $15.00/day, we staff the clinic and provide medical supplies and equipment as well as overhead costs, such as utilities. But even this small sum of money is difficult to obtain in a country as poor as Nepal. We desperately need your help to save lives and improve the health and well being of these poor, indigenous Buddhist-Tamang communities on the Nepal-Tibet border.

How You Can Help Save this Clinic and build more...

a)       Individual Sponsorship:  We welcome and encourage individuals to sponsor our basic clinic operation cost. To meet our yearly budget of US$ 7500, we need just 25 people to contribute the small sum of US$ 25/month. That is less than $1.00 a day to keep this clinic open!

b)       Volunteers supports: We welcome and encourage professionally trained medical personal, preferably nurse practitioners, midwife, and medical doctors to provide volunteer services in our clinic. Interested individual should be able to cover his or her own costs while we will provide free accommodations.

c)       Institutional/Corporate Supports: We request charity organizations and corporate agencies to help us sustain, develop, and expand our medical and other development activities such as sanitation, community health education, community library, child education sponsorship etc. We also accept donations of medical equipments and supplies such as medicine etc.

Please help us to save lives and improve health and well being of the deprived poor indigenous Tamang communities.

To make a donation send your check to:

Karing for Kids PO Box 1170 Sandia Park New Mexico 87047 or make a donation using your credit card or your checking account on-line using Pay-pal here: 

Doctors and Dentists, and others wanted to volunteer. Give a little back! E-MAIL US TODAY!




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