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
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
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, $15.00/day, we staff the
clinic and provide medical supplies and equipment as
well as overhead costs, such as utilities. But even
this small sum of money is difficult to obtain in a
country as poor as Nepal. We desperately need your
help to save lives and improve the health and well
being of these poor, indigenous Buddhist-Tamang
communities on the Nepal-Tibet border.
How You Can Help Save
this Clinic and build more...
Sponsorship: We welcome and encourage individuals to
sponsor our basic clinic operation cost. To meet our
yearly budget of US$ 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!
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.
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.
make a donation send your check to:
Karing for Kids
PO Box 1170 Sandia Park New
a donation using
credit card or your checking account on-line
using Pay-pal here:
Dentists, and others wanted to volunteer. Give a little back!
E-MAIL US TODAY!