It has been an exciting year for all of us at DFN, as our students have continued to flourish in their studies. We are particularly proud to announce that Meena and Nahakul both graduated in November (following their internships in Kathmandu) and have returned to their original rural districts to serve as doctors. Their hard work over the last six years has now paid off, and their communities will start to receive the healthcare that they so desperately need. Our eight other medical and nursing students are all progressing well, and we are delighted to welcome on board another nursing student (Prabha Devkota ), who will be studying in Jumla nursing college – a District in the far west of Nepal where we hope to strengthen ties, to keep our students nearer home for their studies.

LALIT our first doctor to graduate is currently trying to secure one of the very few government-assisted postgraduate places in Nepal.  He cannot afford the £40,000 fees himself so we are fundraising hard to help him.  If Lalit secures a place in a postgraduate program in 2018, all funds raised in his honour will help towards the tuition fees. In return he promises to serve his remote rural community for a minimum of 5 further years.

Lalit writes: “I hope to start a new job at either the Karnali Academy of Health Sciences or at Patan Hospital, Kathmandu, but nothing is certain. I will be preparing for my postgraduate entrance exam at the same time. I am completely dedicated to bringing healthcare in remote Nepal but I need to refine my skill, knowledge enough to make a real difference. I want to thank you for your support from the bottom of my heart and thank you from the people from the poorest and remotest areas of Nepal”.

MEENA AND NAHAKUL have both now graduated and completed their year’s internship at Patan Hospital in Kathmandu and are beginning their first rural postings in their home district hospitals (Mugu and Kalikot).  Meena writes: “I am posted to Mugu district hospital, and I am working as medical officer. I feel I am more responsible; I have to see the cases and manage them independently. Luckily in this hospital we have one consultant, which is really helpful in the case of doubtful cases. I am enjoying my work although this is a new environment for me”.

News from our medical students:

Kamal writes: “Nowadays I’m allocated to the paediatrics department and doing good here. Talking about clinical study, I got a chance to meet different kinds of patients having different diseases like pneumonia, neonatal jaundice, simple febrile seizure, enteric fever etc”.

Purna writes: “My study in basic science 2nd year is going well. Now the GI block is going on, although second year of basic science is quite vague and more difficult than first year…so nowadays I am a little busy in my study”.

Jeevan writes: “With the upcoming Dashain and Tihar festivals, we have got a vacation of whole 2 weeks and I have thought of visiting my family whom I am missing very much. Recently, our batch had a community posting at Makwanpur district for 5 days. We learnt a lot from that posting – communication skills, rapport building, group dynamics and data collection from community members”.

Prakash writes: “I have visited my home 2 weeks ago for the occasion of Dashain festival. I spent a week in my home which was very enjoyable and memorable. All my community people were asking me when my study will be finished and they will be served by me. Now, I’m in my fourth year, currently in the Psychiatry ward”.

Dhanendra writes: “This year we can’t celebrate the greatest festival Dashain and Tihar because of the death of my grandfather. And my grandmother is also suffering from Asthma, so I took some medicines from Kathmandu to her and after the intake of medicine, her health condition is improving. My exam is approaching so I am working very hard”.

DFN helps each student to travel home once a year after the first year, and also helps with the purchase of textbooks.

News from our nursing students:

DFN nursing students Apsara Jirel and Binita Rai are both doing well in their second year of studies in Kathmandu. Our third student was offered a permanent government healthcare position, and after a lot of heart-searching she understandably decided to accept it, so has left the scholarship programme. In her place, DFN offered to fund a student in Jumla Nursing college in the far west, and the scholarship has been awarded to Prabha Devkota, herself from Rukum in the far west. The scholarships are offered in collaboration with PHASE, an NGO that works with health projects in isolated communities. Prabha is a very able nursing auxiliary who has worked with PHASE Nepal for almost 5 years and has been based in their remotest project areas, but could in no way manage further training without our support.