At the end of 2020, a strange year which will be remembered by all of us, I hope that you and your family have remained in good health.
The pandemic of course also hit Nepal, as early as last April. More than 1.5 million Nepalis overseas workers , mostly from India and the Gulf and returning home after losing their jobs. Their salaries were very often essential to the daily lives of their families still in Nepal, and who today find themselves in the most precarious of financial positions.
The number of contaminations and deaths announced daily by the Nepali government is certainly greatly underestimated, due to the weak testing capabilty, the low hospitalisation capacity and the limited financial means deployed by the Nepali government.
As you can imagine, because of all the restrictions imposed, as much in Belgium as in Nepal, there has been no activity on the part of the mobile surgical camps this year. Both central and local governments in Nepal have forbidden such activity until further notice. And we should not overlook the travel and health risks to our teams.
We have therefore decided for the year 2020 to focus our help solely on financial support. Thus we have been able to provide equipment for the Phaplu Maternity Centre (www.nmmh.clinic) consisting of a digitalised portable radiography unit which can also be used for our future mobile surgical camps. In addition, we have also been able to help numerous families facing absolute poverty, as well as some members of our own team, whose usual salaries from their work in the surgical camps were indispensable for their daily lives.
We very much hope that we will be able to restart the surgical programme of the Nepal Mountain Mobile Hospital in 2021, depending on the evolution of the pandemic. Once again we thank you very warmly for the help you have already given us. In that way you have really been involved in our projects.
Allow me once more to appeal to your generosity so that our Mobile Hospital might continue its activities in 2021. Do not hesitate to visit our website to discover more detail of our activities. A photo gallery and a documentary film will no doubt be helpful to bettter understand what we do.
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Joyous New Year in 2021 !
Dr. Pierre Soete