On May 14th, Raj Bahadur Shahi (Core Project Manager) and Gerda Pohl (Health Advisor), PHASE Nepal, were joined by Brita Pohl, PHASE Austria, on a six day Trip to the Gorkha Region to meet project staff and to monitor health and livelihood projects in Manbu, Kashigaun and Keraunja.
In all three communities, the PHASE team reviewed registers, observed Health Post staff at work and held tutorials to further staff’s professional learning around areas such as growth monitoring and the Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illnesses (IMNCI).
Health workers in Manbu live in a temporary shelter made from wood and (Corrugated Galvanised Iron) CGI sheets. The shelter is fairly well set up and includes both accommodation and an Outreach Clinic Room (ORC). It is located close to the collapsed building which PHASE had previously rented for this purpose. Many houses in Manbu have been restored or rebuilt according to the previous traditional design, though most are now only one storey high.
Our PHASE Health Staff, Samjhana and Pramila, are working well together, both supervising and supporting the on-the-job trainee (OJT) Auxiliary Nurse and Midwife (ANM), Chitra Maya. When consulting with patients, they were both compassionate and competent, which was wonderful to see. The ORC room was organised and clean, with facilities to wash hands.
Kashigaun seemed to be rebuilt and repaired to about 80% of its functionality prior to the earthquake. As in Manbu, our health workers (Unisha and Anita) are living in a temporary house next to the original damaged Health Post building. They are currently cooking on an open fire as there is no wood stove with a chimney. They are working within the original damaged Health Post building, which has been temporarily repaired. Unisha and Anita’s knowledge and set-up of the Health Post seemed satisfactory and they gained a lot from the tutorial about IMNCI and fevers.
Between 80 – 90% of people in Keraunja are still living in temporary shelters that are primarily built from CGI sheets, however a lot are still living under tarpaulin and some are in tents. A temporary settlement for 400 families who were displaced due to a landslide during the earthquake has been set up and is supported by PIN and OXFAM. There seems to be a lot of work ongoing, including building paths and water and sanitation facilities.
The earthquake completely destroyed the Health Post. The current temporary building is not adequate for the monsoon season as it has a CGI roof and bamboo mat walls with a mud floor covered with tarpaulin. The waiting and meeting room and the dressing room are in two separate tents. Rebuilding the destroyed health post building is a high priority for the community. The Health Facility Management Committee (HFNC) members are concerned that the approaching monsoon will delay building further, as carrying sand and aggregate from the river bed is not possible once the heavy rains start. Our health staff, Ganga and Sunita, work well as a team and provide a good, much appreciated service to the community. They are also teaching and providing support to Parbati (OJT).
(photos credit Brita Pohl)