Two years on from Nepal earthquake
It is hard to believe that 2 years have passed since the enormous earthquake that rocked Nepal. From a recent visit to the capital – one could believe that life is back to normal; but it does not take much to see and feel the longstanding effects from the damage. Many still live in fear of a further quake, and thousands are still living in temporary accommodation, awaiting the funds pledged by the government (no-one has yet received the full re-building costs). Progress is slow, especially up in the remote mountain areas, and healthcare facilities are still waiting to be rebuilt.
But for Doctors For Nepal, much has changed in the last 2 years, and we are proud of the stoical efforts of our students and doctors, who have coped so well in the aftermath of the earthquake. All of our students have passed their exams, despite the considerable disruption to their learning. For Meena and Nahakul to pass finals in the dire conditions shows a particular strength of character. Dr Lalit has continued to work in rural areas – fulfilling his pledge to work for a minimum of 4 years, including an admirable response to the quake – where he offered his services to work with MSF, treating many of those who were injured. Some great news today is that Lalit has passed his first round of exams into post-graduate education – which will enable him to further improve his skills for working for the needs of patients in the remote mountains of Nepal. We wish Lalit the very best of luck in this exciting new chapter in his career.
As an organisation, we are responding to the changing needs within the healthcare system of Nepal, and are proud to now be sponsoring 3 nursing students. Two are from the earthquake epicentre, and will in due course go back and serve the health-needs of the affected populations. We also plan to widen our team to include midwifery students, plus extending our scholarship programme to medical colleges in the remote western region of Nepal.
So despite the sad reminder of the events of 2 years ago, we continue to strive to improve health care where it is most needed. Please do continue your support of our students and programs over the coming months, as there is still so much to be done.
With many thanks,
Dr Kate Yarrow