Emergency Aid for Nepal
A 7.8-magnitude earthquake shook the Kathmandu Valley before noon on April 25. Although the extent of the damages is still unknown, initial reports say houses and buildings collapsed in Kathmandu and surrounding areas.
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.
Please note that we are not recruiting for the current emergency response in Nepal. MSF does not recruit for specific locations or emergencies. Anyone interested in working in the field with MSF can apply online but must be open to working in the country to which they are assigned. Assignment is based on the needs of the field and the skills of the field worker.
Update: May 5, 2015
Both medical and non-medical MSF teams are assisting victims of the Nepal Earthquake, which shook the Kathmandu Valley before noon on April 25.
- There are currently approximately 120 MSF staff working in Nepal.
- An MSF surgical team provided support for three days at the hospital in Bhaktapur, on the outskirts of Kathmandu, in order to help the staff operate on waiting patients.
- In the town of Arughat, in Gorkha district, MSF is setting up a 20-bed inflatable hospital to provide initial treatment for wounded people.
- MSF is adding mental health workers to its teams to provide psychological first-aid in villages where people have suffered severe psychological trauma.
- So far, MSF has flown in more than 80 tonnes of supplies to Nepal.
Since April 29, MSF medical teams have been traveling by helicopter and on foot to treat people spread across some 15 isolated mountain villages. Over a week has passed since a 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit the Nepali districts of Dhading, Gorkha, Rasuwa, and Sindhupalchowk, and many villages have yet to receive humanitarian assistance.
While the most critically injured people were evacuated in the days immediately after the earthquake, those who remained are trapped in their villages, as avalanches and landslides have cut off roads and walking paths.
On May 3, an MSF team also set up a temporary clinic in the area of Chhapchet, in Dhading district, and began providing basic health care and minor surgical interventions. The team will work to spread the word in the surrounding villages that people can now come to the clinic to receive care. On May 4, another team landed in Lapubesi in Gorkha district, and will stay there for three days to provide medical assistance in the area.
"We are seeing people in need of basic health care, as well as a number of people with wounds sustained in the earthquake that have now become infected," says MSF nurse Anne Kluijtmans. "We are cleaning and dressing wounds, as well as distributing antibiotics and pain medication. We have also treated cases of pneumonia, including among children."
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.