Okhaldhunga Hospital

Background:

In the early 1960’s, a Ghurka soldier extended an invitation to a physician in the British Army to start a medical project in the Okhaldhunga district. From its humble beginnings as a small remote clinic, it has grown into a small community hospital with 45 inpatient beds and an active Public Health Unit. Nestled in a remote region of the foothills of the Himalayas due south from Mount Everest, the hospital is theonly facility in Okhaldhunga district and additionally serves people in four surrounding districts, accounting for a population of more than 250,000 people. In comparison to other areas of Nepal, Okhaldhunga district is severely impoverished. A recent study by the community health team, found that less than 3% of all people in this district have any extra resources left after meeting the basic needs of feeding their family. This is also is an acute care general hospital.

 

This hospital treats about 30,000 outpatients every year and admits about 2500 cases. Surgical procedures depend on the availability of a surgeon. The hospital normally performs about 1000 surgical procedures per year. The surgical procedures here consist of emergency life-saving surgeries like caesarean sections, other obstetric emergencies, laparotomies, and trauma surgeries including craniotomies as well as some orthopedics, in addition to minor surgery. This hospital is not as well equipped as Tansen hospital for complicated surgery but a wide range of surgical procedures are being done. There are presently 59 Nepali staff and two expatriates working there.

 

This is also one of the more remote hospitals where family medicine doctors are trained for their district posting. These residents are trained in basic general surgery, obstetric and gynaecology and most of the time in basic anaesthesia. Therefore these residents provide crucial manpower in a hospital like this.

 

Facilities:

No constant motorable road, though there is a seasonal dirt road for transportation. Therefore this hospital can be reached by air ( 81 USDollar one way from Kathmandu and 128 US Dollars return form Kathmandu as at April 2010) to Rumjatar and walk for 3 hours on foot. The hospital has:

 

  • electricity and good water supply
  • mobile phone coverage
  • email and internet facilities - but the speed is very slow
  • a regular mail service to and from Kathmandu once a week
  • a guesthouse with basic facilities situated near to the hospital.

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