Deadly Quake: Help Nepal In Its Hour Of Need

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A 7.8-magnitude earthquake shook the Kathmandu Valley before noon on Saturday. (As of Tuesday the death toll had exceeded 4,400)

Tremors were also strongly felt in northern India, in the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

This page will be updated regularly with new information on our emergency response as the situation develops. Follow @MSF_USA on Twitter for updates.

MSF is sending eight medical and non-medical teams to assist victims of the Nepal Earthquake, which shook the Kathmandu Valley before noon on Saturday.

Update: April 27, 2015

MSF teams have arrived in Nepal and are currently assessing the most urgent medical needs. Further teams are expected to arrive in Nepal later today and over the coming days.

One 17-member team is in Kathmandu. They have carried out an initial assessment of the damage by helicopter.

One team is expected in Kathmandu on April 27 after flying in from New Delhi. They were initially rerouted back to India after aftershocks prevented the plane from landing. 

One team has reached Gorkha, 70 kilometers [about 43 miles] northwest of Kathmandu, after traveling by road from Bihar State in India. Three trucks containing essential relief items have also crossed the Nepalese border and are on their way to Gorkha.

An 11-member surgical and medical team is on its way to Kathmandu from Brussels with a rapid intervention surgical kit that will enable them to set up a surgical unit and start performing surgical operations within the vital 72-hour window after the earthquake struck. The team will also travel to the districts of Tanahu, Lamjung, and Gorkha with the aim of providing support to hospitals, running mobile clinics, distributing essential relief items (blankets, hygiene kits, and shelters), and providing water and sanitation services according to people’s needs.

Additional Support

A five-member MSF team (including a surgeon) left Japan on April 27 for Kathmandu. 

An inflatable hospital arrived today and will be set up tomorrow.

Thirty tons of emergency supplies were dispatched from MSF’s supply depot in Ostende, Belgium, on April 27.

A team of MSF medics and water and sanitation specialists left Amsterdam for Nepal on April 27.

Four teams left Bihar state, India, on April 26. They are currently at the Nepalese border on their way to the worst-affected areas.

A three-member MSF team (including a midwife) is due to arrive in Pokhara on April 27.

A three-member MSF team (including a midwife and an anesthesiologist) left Paris on April 27.

A 35-ton charter with another inflatable hospital, drugs will depart from Bordeaux, France, on April 28. Emergency supplies will be dispatched as well.

MSF’s History in Nepal

MSF worked in Nepal from 2002 to 2009, providing basic and reproductive health care and water and sanitation services to people affected by conflict. MSF left Nepal in 2009, handing its work over to government agencies and development organizations with a longer-term approach to covering people’s health needs.

Update: April 26, 2015

Four MSF teams departed this morning from Bihar state in India and are currently at the border with Nepal clearing with authorities before heading to the areas affected by the earthquake.

A surgical team composed of eight highly skilled staff will Brussels for Kathmandu this afternoon. The team will set up a surgical unit as well as run mobile clinics aimed at reaching affected people in remote areas.

One MSF team from New Delhi, India, is now headed for Kathmandu after initially being re-routed back to India due to aftershocks. The team is expected in Kathmandu later today and will start providing medical assistance.

One team of medical and non-medical staff is headed for Kathmandu Valley from Japan.

More emergency supplies are being sent from Bordeaux, France, today.

Another MSF team from Amsterdam will depart today with additional medical and water and sanitation capacity.

MSF will also send 3,000 medical and non-food items kits to Nepal.

Why were we there?

Historical

Latest Activity Report (2009)

MSF has worked in Nepal since 2002. Teams provided health care to people affected by the conflict between government forces and the Communist Party of Nepal which lasted from 1996 until 2006, and by the resurgence of violence that accompanied a chaotic peace process.

MSF worked where help was most needed, including in basic health care, reproductive health care and water and sanitation provision.

Despite Nepal’s struggles with political stability after the peace process, MSF is now leaving the country as government agencies and developmental organisations start to take a longer-term approach to covering the people’s health needs. Capacity-building and training on the job are consequently key objectives in the remaining MSF projects.

Teams worked to increase knowledge about reproductive health and called for better access to good-quality public health services. Through radio announcements and education, MSF also addressed the issue of oxytocin misuse. The drug, used to stimulate contractions in pregnant women, is widely misused. This can result in fetal and neonatal deaths, and ruptures of the uterus.

In May, MSF handed over programs in the mountainous Kalikot district, where MSF had offered basic and secondary health care, TB treatment and emergency services with a special focus on health care for pregnant women and children under five. In 2009, MSF carried out more than 10,000 consultations and assisted with 192 deliveries.

In December, MSF handed over its last remaining program in the Terai region of Nepal, which provided free medical services, emergency consultations, maternal health care, and treatment of acutely malnourished children. In the areas affected by internal unrest MSF used mobile clinics in the most neglected areas and transferred patients needing more care to its facility at Gaur District Hospital. MSF carried out more than 10,000 consultations and assisted more than 1,300 deliveries.

In the areas where it worked, MSF leaves behind an improved level of care for mothers and newborns, and better trained staff.

 

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