How Can We Help Nepal?

Hello all

attached is an update I received this morning from my friend Mark Zimmerman at the nick simons institute.

it does not discuss khotang specifically, but he informed me that khotang was not hit as hard as areas closer to the epicenter of the earthquake. this is consistent with our prior info. we will be dealing with mostly rebuilding infrastructure. casualties and emergency situations we are seeing in the densely populate urban areas and villages close to the epicenter northwest of Kathmandu will have many more acute problems. this does not diminish the devastating impact the earthquake will have on khotang.

I have been in contact with ktm by phone last night and email this am. the status is unchanged. I believe people are slowly beginning to move inside if there home remains. the big problem will be for those who are homeless. food and water will become more limited. as the pre monsoon rains have already come, spread of diseases in these makeshift camps and in urban areas without adequate public health will be a real threat.

richard

How Can We Help Nepal?

29 April 2015
Mark Zimmerman

On this, the fourth day after Nepal’s earthquake, the seismic aftershocks have calmed but the long healing process begins in earnest. Many of us have grown to love this country, and naturally we all want to help in any way we can. Our team and I have seen some of the effects of the disaster in Kathmandu and in one severely affected area; we’ve also attended several government/WHO health cluster meetings and remain in close touch with friends working in the large hospitals of Kathmandu.

We are not experts of disaster relief and so I hesitate to tell you how you should help. Nevertheless, it seems right to share what we’ve seen and even to venture a few suggestions.

Observations

  1. Though not as physically affected as those in rural areas, many people in Kathmandu remain in a state of shock. Most people only today are even considering sleeping inside their houses and almost none have returned to work.
  2. Apart from a long time without electricity and (for some) sleeping outside, most of us expatriates have not suffered physical hardship. A few have gone home; most have remained. There have been reported security issues (looting, protests), but these are limited.
  3. Five districts outside the Kathmandu Valley have been seriously affected: Gorkha, Dhading, Rasuwa, Nuwakot, and Sindhupalchok. Lamjung, Dolakha, Makwanpur, Kabre, and Lalitpur suffered moderate effects, other districts minimal.
  4. Even within those affected districts the damage is spotty. We’ve found areas adjacent to the one I reported on 27 April where house damage was much less.
  5. A large medical response has been mounted.

- The first (and still main) response has been by the Nepali government. The major hospitals in Kathmandu are short on some resources, but medical personnel are sufficient.

- The WHO has linked with the Health Ministry to coordinate an impressive deployment of medical teams from across the world. Some of these teams have come with their own self-sufficient hospitals. MSF, Rubicon, and other experienced teams from the U.S., Japan, Poland, Spain, Thailand, Bhutan, and other countries are now being deployed.

- In addition to these, the Nepal army is linking with military teams from other countries. For example, the Indian Army has a team that includes 26 surgeons in Dhading District Hospital and the Israeli Army with a team of over 100 (including 23 doctors) set up their own referral hospital in Kathmandu.

6. The acute phase of relief (and world interest) will diminish; some groups have set time courses of 2 or 3 weeks after which they will leave. At that time, trauma problems will be surpassed by public health issues.

7. Rebuilding Nepal will the major task – housing, families, and institutions. The development organizations that have been here for decades will continue their work, only with heavier loads in these districts.

Suggestions

Unless someone is coming as part of a self-sufficient medical team that has been approved by WHO/Health Ministry, there is no need for more foreign medical personnel at present.

One could donate to organizations with long, reliable track records of service in Nepal. United Mission to Nepal and World Vision are two; there are others

To me, I’d say the best thing you could do is to commit to regularly praying for the people of Nepal. God and they will turn your prayers into something good.