February 2022 – Western Nepal Disability Trust

We start our update with a huge THANK YOU to everyone who supported the ‘virtual trek’ to the top of Mount Everest, a distance of 40 miles with an additional 5 to allow for the altitude! We raised over £1000 with some Gift Aid still to come in, so it has been a successful event in support of the Palliative Care project. WNDT donations will be specifically used so that poor patients (unable to pay for the cost of care) will receive the treatment and care that they need. We also thank everyone who supported our craft stall at the Christmas Market, where we had record takings (helped by our IT upgrade i.e. a card-reading payment machine!).

During 2021, despite the ongoing challenges of COVID, the new Palliative Care centre opened, and is a base for ongoing activities. These include giving practical help and support in a range of ways. Medical, therapy and nursing treatment can be given in the care centre. Vulnerable patients and their families have been given equipment and support to manage at home, including donations of food and other essential items.

As well as this practical support, the project also develops the idea of Palliative Care in Nepal in different ways. Throughout the country, in the government health care system, there are small district hospitals, and health posts, often quite remote. Patients are expected to pay for any treatment that they need, though some of the hospitals may have a charity fund. The health post is like a village clinic, and should have at least one qualified nurse, and assistant staff with some basic skills, as well as some medicines. Developing the skills of the staff in the district hospitals and
health posts, and giving them support and motivation is important for their
ongoing work. A Palliative Care Toolkit has been written to give information about palliative care for these staff, and a Nepali version is now being reviewed with health workers in Lamjung district, a mountainous area, as part of their training. The World Hospice and Palliative Care Day 2021 was also celebrated.

Jane Schofield