Nepal October 2015
Review on our humanitarian mission from 3.-17.10.2015
It were two fulfilling and at the same time exhausting weeks at the ‚Sushma Koirala Memorial Hospital‘ in Nepal. Our Team consisted of the plastic surgeons PD Dr. Armin Kraus and Dr. Daniel Sattler, our general practitioner Dr. Lisa Gambhir and our anesthesia team Dr. Marianne Ulmer and assistant Yusuf Kenan Demir. Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world with a high percentage of illiteracy (67% women, 32% men) and still significant traces of destruction after the huge earthquake in April 2015 (Richter Scale 7,5). We come upon a well organized Interplast-Germany institution 14km outside the capital of Kathmandu and are generously offered to check in the nursing dormitory on the hospitals campus. For the next 14 days we find ourselves in the solitude of nepalese countryside beyond reach of our accustomed civilization. Boon and bane at the same time. Our mission is dedicated to our nepalese plastic surgeons who already work on a level due to the Interplast-Germany Teams who built up and educate the staff four times per year. Our nepalese colleges make us feel warmly welcome and introduce us quickly to the surgical challenge at ‚Sushma Koirala Memorial Hospital‘. Patients are young paraplegics who suffer from large soft tissue defects -the biggest measures 25% of total body surface. Children with acute burns of 40% of total body surface. Others suffer from secondary burn contractures on upper and lower extremities. many fates still result from the earthquake in April 2015. We have the opportunity to experience a geologic aftershock of Richter Scale 4. During the oncoming days we are ‚set on fire‘ to give our best in two operating theatres and help our patient out of their misery. We constantly supported by the gratitude of both patients and hospital staff. A 24 year old is advised to undergo amputation of his lower extremities in oder to survive his infected soft tissue defects but decides against surgery. He faces his inevitable fat -we are affected but accept his decision. A 18 months old boy suffered from 40% total body surface burn injury and can be stabilized on the ‚burn care unit‘. Days later he can be saved by ’split thickness skin graft‘ transplantation. Every day we cover soft tissue defects by myocutaneous muscle flaps. At the end of the second week we look back on many successfully operated patients and hand over to our nepalese colleges to manage the aftercare. Via fotostream the checkup documentation reaches us on the plane and back home in Germany. The sustainability of the ‚Sushma Koirala Memorial Hospital‘-Project is outstanding and we are grateful to be part of it.
We will be back -Namaste-!