The whole team from Nepal Mountain Hospital came back to Kathmandu yesterday. Once again, the camp allowed an impressive number of people to have consultations.
But it was an adventure to get to a place called Ragani. After leaving the great valley of the Sunkhosi for a short while going up the Tamakhosi valley, we took a very damaged road, steep and narrow like so many in Nepal with the two jeeps and a bus loaded with 3 tons of material. 4h30 for 42 kms!
The camp was set up quickly. The campsite in old rice paddies was chosen for its location on the edge of three valleys. The next day, at the crack of dawn, the first patients began to arrive. The heat rapidly became unbearable and tarpaulins were put up to allow patients to wait in the shade. Soldiers from the nearby camp helped us organise the registration of everyone and regulate their progress towards a consultation.
1348 consultations, 56 x-ray examinations, 147 ultrasounds, 8 surgical interventions, numerous re-dressings of wounds and other types of treatments were carried out over 3 days, in torrid heat. Food and water were distributed to the crowd patiently awaiting their turn for a consultation. Such as a 10-year old boy, waiting his turn among this crowd of people having had nothing to eat, without any parents, having walked for 5 hours, for treatment of wounds incurred during the quake: we gave him a meal and he left with biscuits, a bottle of water and some new clothes, to rejoin his village and family.
More than 500 tarpaulins were distributed by the soldiers and a new piece of clothing was given to each child.
The population, mostly Tamang and Brahmin, seemed resigned to their fate. In the villages, shelters are built using all types of material: bamboo, old corrugated iron, all types of wood that they cover with a waterproof tarpaulin. This will have to last out the three months of monsoon. The Nepalese Government estimate that more than 500 000 homes have to be reconstructed.
The new school year begins around now, 4 weeks late, often under temporary shelters.