Many people in Nepal have been psychologically traumatized by the earthquake. The worst consequences, such as the death of a relative or injury, are not even that important. Worse is the loss of the house as a place of refuge. Even many houses that are still standing in the villages are in danger of collapsing due to the typical construction method, which involves only one layer of stones without concrete, and must be completely demolished and rebuilt.
Nepalese civil engineers have toured the villages and inspected the houses. But since people do not have the money for concrete, the ruined houses remain standing and people live in front of them in tents or corrugated iron huts. Even intact stone houses are avoided, many Nepalese do not want to live in houses with more than two floors, many move from the destroyed villages to the capital Kathmandu.
The poor people from the mountain region will hardly be able to gain a meaningful foothold in the expensive city environment.
As a result, entire slum districts made of tents and corrugated iron huts are springing up.
We want to say thank you to all who supported us financially. Many heartfelt wishes have accompanied and supported us in our work. Through many generous donations we were able to buy plenty of medicines and dressings and treat a large number of patients. In the villages of Gatlang, Gonggang, Thuman, Briddhim and Khangjim we carried out consultations, some of which lasted several days, under the simplest of conditions. These were very exhausting. From village to village the dialect and mentality changes. The people were very grateful. Our Nepalese friend (and interpreter) and we were completely exhausted after each day of treatment. Despite all the work, we enjoyed it.
Many people live in emergency shelters near their destroyed homes. The rainy season and winter were very hard. There is no prospect of improvement. The main illnesses ultimately stem from the poor conditions. The most common were lung diseases, gastrointestinal infections, parasitoses, but also all forms of joint diseases, from arthrosis to rheumatic diseases were seen. Many people suffered from the threat of losing their sight. No native wears sunglasses there in the nevertheless relatively high altitude (2000-3000 m). Due to the increased UV radiation, one could already see the gray discoloration of the lens (cataract) in the middle age of 45 year olds.
We thought a lot about what will happen to the people when we pack up and leave. Will they wait for the next trekking doctors?
Was our engagement only the famous drop on the hot stone?
We have developed new ideas during our medical trek and are now pursuing a project on how we can sustainably combine existing medical resources. In the villages, people hope for the Western “miracle pill” that will cure them of all their ailments.
But this will never happen. Sustainable help from outside can only be help for self-help. The local health posts in Briddhim and Syarphrubesi are hardly noticed by the population, although we could convince ourselves of the good training of the paramedics. In addition, many people are not aware of this help. A hospital is located about 2 hours away by jeep in Dhunche. Here, too, the examination would be free of charge. But the journey there is unaffordable for the people.
One would have to try to coordinate the already existing Nepalese facilities for medical care. Thought, done. We therefore decided to visit the district hospital in Dhunche. This hospital was also heavily destroyed during the earthquake, but still offers a good care structure. The doctors, some of whom we had already read reports from during our medical trip, made a competent impression. The doctors in Nepal also studied at the university. The education corresponds to our western medicine. In the area of general medical care and general clinical treatment, there is a good basis. However, many medical devices are outdated or have been destroyed. During our short visit to the hospital we were able to establish a good contact with the doctors, which was later deepened with many e-mail contacts. In agreement with the doctors of the hospital we planned our further steps and we also got some parts of our project started. In order to guarantee the medical care of the people, the first step was to support the hospital. Dawa bought, on our behalf, from the remaining donations, an oxygen machine and an ECG machine in Kathmandu for the hospital. With a small celebration the devices were received in the hospital with joy. This will enable better care for the patients in the future.
As a second step we want to finance a weekly transport of the patients from the mountain villages to the hospital in Dhunche. For this we plan to rent already existing jeeps from the region. Dawa will organize the transports and advertise our project locally. For the realization of our project, the association Nepalhilfe Straubenhardt e.V. (Nepal Aid e.V.) has been founded. (Nepal Aid e.V.) has been founded. Friends, relatives and acquaintances have supported us. Further goals of the association are to carry out measures for the promotion of health and education in the region. We think about e.g. to arrange sponsorships for seriously ill, poor patients to finance the treatment costs. Furthermore for children of poor families or orphans to finance their school attendance or education costs. Despite all the destruction, we want to encourage them to visit Nepal. The destruction of some cultural monuments will not bother the “first time visitor”. The trekking routes are probably all passable again. Also the trek in the Langtang valley is possible again. The income from the tourists ensured the survival of many Nepalese, these were and are gone after the earthquake. To help Nepal it is important that tourism gets going again. If you want to help but do not consider a trip to Nepal, we would like to ask you to support our association through financial donations. Please contact us. Even small amounts can make a big difference in Nepal.
Our thanks to all who have supported us in our endeavor. Thank you to all who fed our donation box in Conweiler and also supported us with donations of clothes and shoes. Thank you for trusting us to handle your donations well. Thank you to all colleagues who supported us financially. Many thanks to the people who have embraced our project and in turn collected for us , for example, at birthdays and other festivities or projects. A very special thank you goes to the Siloah St. Trudpert Hospital in Pforzheim and to the Schwarzwaldapotheke in Schwann, who supported us very generously.
Thank you very much for your commitment, which made our work possible.
Dhanjabad (Thank you very much)