Written by Rakchhya Maharjan, The Leprosy Mission Nepal.
Yesterday (25 April) marked the second year since the devastating earthquake that caused havoc in Nepal. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake is still fresh in everyone's mind and will not be forgotten for years to come.
All staff and guests gathered at Askew hall in The Leprosy Mission Nepal's Anandaban Hospital to reminisce the past two years, our commitment during post-earthquake relief work, our venture and progress in the field of disaster risk reduction and the continued and much needed work for long term recovery in the affected districts.
Post-earthquake, TLM Nepal provided emergency relief (food and non-food items) to 1,416 households, distributed 2,351 tarpaulins and provided 1,570 households with cash and shelter packages. Also, emergency medical relief was provided to 1,555 people in affected communities whilst 235 people received psychosocial counselling. In partnership with CBM, TLM Nepal also treated 4,923 people in medical camps, conducted 135 surgeries, treated 448 people at Anandaban, provided post operation rehabilitation and physiotherapy to 1,148 people and distributed 196 assistive devices to needy people.
TLM Nepal continues to work in all 14 earthquake affected districts in Nepal providing continued disability screening camps (as part of community outreach), continued treatments for injuries and disability prevention at Anandaban, injury and trauma management training and livelihoods recovery training.
Marking the commemoration, this small and short gathering at Anandaban Hospital highlighted our resilience and commitment to help those in need. Addressing all programme attendees yesterday morning, Anandaban Hospital Medical Director Dr Indra Napit said, "We rose above our own personal hardships, to support those who were the neediest. We worked overtime, left our distraught family members to come to 'work' together as TLM Nepal."
Dr Indra further said, "In some way, this earthquake was a boon for TLM Nepal. We were able to work beyond what we believed was our capacity in the sector of disaster risk deduction. TLM Nepal is now recognised not just as a leading leprosy organisation but also as a capable disaster risk reduction organisation in Nepal. We have made numerous new partnerships as well and we ourselves have equipped Anandaban Hospital with a disaster preparedness plan in case of future disasters. Quite possibly, none of this would have happened if not for the earthquake."
In the programme yesterday, first aid kits, wheelchairs, fire extinguishers and fire blankets were distributed to local schools and police who participated in the disaster risk reduction training conducted by TLM Nepal in partnership with Emmanuel Hospital Associations under the Himalayan Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction project which was completed on the 30th
of March 2017. Through this project, TLM Nepal has prepared over 10,000 'first community responders' for disaster situations by providing training on first aid, fire safety, rescue techniques, disaster risk management, post-disaster psychosocial care and basic life support. TLM Nepal aims to continue disaster risk reduction work in collaboration with other organisations, hospitals, health posts, schools and community people in the months to come.