Services resume at maternity hospital

- Pratichya Dulal, Kathmandu

May 9, 2015-

The Paropakar Maternity and Women’s Hospital at Thapathali will open all its services except the test tube baby treatment from Sunday. The hospital had been only overseeing delivery cases since the earthquake on April 25. 

“Due to logistic problems we had only been able to attend delivery cases,” Jageshwor Gautam, director of the hospital told The Post. “The hospital will be fully operational from Sunday except for test tube baby services.”

According to him, the main building of the hospital that faces the main gate, has been declared unusable by a technical team of engineers. “We are short of space to provide test tube baby treatment. It will take at least a month and a half for us to resume test tbe service,’ said Gautam. 

The hospital shifted to a new building on Thursday. “We moved the patients into the new building on Thursday. We worked in a crammed space until then. We had all of the patients in the ground floor. Some were on the beds and others on the floor due to lack of space.”

The beds and wards from the old building had been moved to a new building. “Luckily for us we had a new building even though it is not as spacious as the old one. It took us until Thursday to shift from the old building.” 

The hospital which had 415 beds earlier has only 300 now. Gautam said that the hospital until a couple of days ago had been attending delivery cases in the emergency room. 

Gautam also informed that the hospital will continue its uterus cases from Sunday. “There are lots of gynaecological cases pending. We are now ready to treat them,” added Gautam. For that, the hospital which until now had three OPDs has cut it down to two for delivery cases and the other for other gynaecological purposes to make up for the lack of space. “Before there were two gynaecological OPDS one for specialised cases and the other for general but now we have adjusted both into one,” explained Gautam. 

He also said that they had a good flow of patients as other hospitals attending earthquake victims had referred maternity cases to them.

Dr Abhusan Neupane of the hospital said the first couple of days were very intense. “The first couple of days since the quake were extremely difficult with both doctors and patients frightened by continuous tremors, and moreover we neither had water nor electricity,” he recalled. “The patients were too scared to go inside the building and we kept them in tents. We are now ready to give our normal service.” 


Govt plans to deploy medical teams in 14 districts


The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) is planning to deploy a five-member medical team, including a doctor, in each health posts of the 14 districts worst-affected by the Great Earthquake. 

With monsoon only a month away, the ministry is working overtime to assign the medical teams to tackle a possible outbreak. 

The medical team will consist of an MBBS doctor, nursing staff and paramedics, said the ministry.

“A majority of our health centres in these areas have been damaged. Ensuring treatment to patients with water-borne diseases is a huge challenge facing us today,” said Dr Guna Raj Lohani. “People will have access to healthcare even after the international and national medical teams leave.”

According to the ministry, 260 government health facilities were completely destroyed in the earthquake on April 25, while 500 others sustained damages of varied levels. A majority of the hospitals, health posts and primary health centres have been destroyed in Sindhupalchok, Nuwakot, Ramechhap, Gorkha and Dhading districts, leaving the government with a daunting task of providing health services.

The worst-affected districts will require at least around 500 doctors immediately for the government to implement its plan. “We will probably hire doctors on contract, while those willing to volunteer are also welcome,” said Dr Lohani. 

Under the existing provision, a state-run health post has a Health Assistant (HA), two Auxiliary Health Workers (AHW), two Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANM) and a helper. Although the Nepal Health Policy 2014 envisions a doctor and a nurse in each health post, the majority of such posts are headed by the HAs.

As a large number of people in the 14 worst-affected districts are taking shelters outside their homes, health experts warn that cases of cholera and diarrhoea could take epidemic proportions in monsoon.  

Published: 10-05-2015 08:47

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