Mission trip to Khandbari, Nepal November 4-17, 2000
The Helping Hands Organization was founded by an international businessman raised in Khandbari, Nepal. The group has been providing medical relief to people of Nepal since 1992. Dr. Robert Hardesty became aware of the medical services being provided and decided to explore the region as a possible mission destination of Operation Good Samaritan. A trip was organized to determine if it would be feasible to make Nepal a routine site of service.
Nepal is border by China (Tibet) to the north with the balance of the country surrounded by India. Twenty-one percent of Nepal is under cultivation. Its two main groups are Caucasian Indo-European speaking and Mongolian Tibetan-Burmese speaking. The government is structure as a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarch. The state religion is Hindu with the next largest denominations being Buddhists and Muslims. Roughly 28 million people live in Nepal with 40 percent below the age of 15. As one of the world's poorest countries, the gross national product per inhabitant is around US $200.
Twelve faculty, students, and community health professionals from plastic surgery, ob/gyn, anesthesia, nursing, and dentistry.
Our mission was to provide basic ob/gyn, plastic surgery, and dental care with the assistance of our anesthesia and nursing colleagues. Additionally, we wanted to evaluate Nepal as a site for future mission trips.
There were four key components of the medical facility in Khandbari. first was the outpatient section, where several rooms were available for general medicine and ob/gyn clinics. Second, a lab for urine, stool, and blood work was available. The fee per lab test was 8 rupees (70 rupees = $1 US). Third was the operating room which was basically one room with three wooden tables for procedures. Finally, there were three inpatient rooms with a total of 15 beds.
"It was particularly gratifying to repair the cleft lips in young girls because in the Nepalese culture such a defect typically makes a woman undesirable as a bride." Todd Mirzai, LLUMC plastic surgery resident
Although there is a great need for medical care in Nepal, we found the facilities, transportation, and terrain limiting factors for a mission trip lasting two weeks or less.