Since the report on the “Rebuilding Health Posts in North Gorkha and Tsum Valley” was written we have had the terrible news that three of CAN’s nurses, who were working in North Gorkha, were trapped in a landslide. Two nurses, Priti Maya Magar and Chet Kumari Magar were pulled to safety and flown via helicopter to Kathmandu for treatment. Tragically, in spite of extensive searching, the third member of the party, Ranjana Basnet lost her life. Ranjana had been based at Bihi and ministered to the community so she will be deeply missed.
As we all know North Gorkha was at the epicentre of the April 2015 earthquake although CAN’s nurses were able to continue delivering essential health care to the surrounding community using temporary medical facilities at Bihi, Prok and Lho. Fortunately the health posts at Lihi only sufferred minor damage which has now been repaired and the health post at Sama Gaun was left more or less unscathed.
Great progress has now been made with the rebuilding of the three remote health posts at Bihi, Prok and Lho by local people working with CAN staff. We are delighted to report that CAN’s Overseer, Sunam Thapa Magar has done a tremendous job!
The health post at Bihi was completed in early 2016 and was officially opened by Doug and CAN Trustees in May with many members of the community present. CAN is very grateful to the Jephcott Charitable Trust, Porter’s Progress UK and individual CAN supporters who have supported the rebuilding of this excellent new health facility. The new health post is enabling CAN nurses deliver primary care in Bihi and the surrounding villages.
The health post at Sama Gaun was largely unaffected by the 2015 earthquake. However, although the building was deemed to be safe it was agreed that a rebuild would incorporate shock resistant features and also be built in a way to withstand heavy falls of deep snow in winter. It is important for this post to remain open all year around and so the proposal was made to rebuild it on a one metre high platform surrounded by wide verandas boxed in with triple polycarbonate. High volumes of insulation were also to be used.
The health post at Lho, sited in the upper village, was badly damaged in the earthquake and the community agreed to provide land in the centre of the village for a new building in December 2015. All of the construction work was completed in August and officially opened by the Lama and the local monks with great celebration.
Lho Health Post opening ceremony
Further good news come from Prok where we have just heard that all construction work has been completed with the health post fully operational. CAN Trustees and staff visited the health posts and were very impressed by the high standard of the building work. CAN is very grateful to ERSF for its generous funding and to a number of Oxford academics who have supported this project.
PROK Health Post nearing completion
In the North Gorkha CAN normally supports two nurses at each of the five health posts and provides medicine and other running costs. Currently, with 10 nurses in the area, this represents a substantial revenue cost every year. Although CAN continues to receive help from SEEDS Nepal and the Sandoz Foundation in support of these costs it seems easier to secure capital funding than the ongoing revenue funding which is needed year after year.
Since 2013 CAN has successfully run the delivery of essential care in remote health posts close to the Manaslu trekking circuit. However, this year we were asked by PHASE Nepal if we would rebuild and take over the running of health posts in the remote Tsum Valley as PHASE wished to concentrate their efforts in the far west of Nepal. This valley was only opened up to westerners in 2002.
CAN has liaised closely with the District Health Office [DHO] and is now deploying nurses at the villages of Chumling, Chhokang Paro and Ripchet. CAN is working with Tsum Nubri [a local NGO] which is overseeing the rebuilding of the new health post at Chumling. Good links have been built up with Chay-Ya [NGO] with CAN deploying two nurses at the new health post at Lar which Chay-Ya has funded.
New Health Post at LAR funded by Chay -Ya
CAN is also working with SOS Nepal, an Austrian charity, which is building a health clinic at Ripchet. The clinic will also be supported by visiting CAN nurses.
The earthquake damaged government health post at Chhokang Paro has been rebuilt to a very high standard. The rebuild was co-ordinated by Wangchuk Rapten Lama who successfully secured all the funding from international donors. The two storey health post will provide excellent facilities for CAN nurses to deliver essential health care.
PHASE Nepal have also asked CAN to take on the health post at Chumchet in the Tsum Valley and at Philim which is just below Jagat on the Manaslu Circuit.
Supporting health care in the Tsum Valley is a very exciting development and will mean that the remote villages in the valley, which lie in the shadow of Ganesh Himal, will continue to receive high quality health care now that PHASE Nepal have moved some of their operations. CAN will need to undertake significant additional fundraising to support the new nurses operating in the Tsum Valley in the medium to long term until the running of the health posts is handed over to the Nepalese government in the future.Go Back