Our medical teams have been helping people across Nepal since two major earthquakes hit the region.

Update 2 June 2015

On Tuesday 2 June, a helicopter delivering humanitarian aid crashed in Sindhupalchowk district, Nepal.

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) regrets to confirm the death of three of its staff members in this crash.

The team were delivering much-needed medical and humanitarian assistance in Sindhupalchowk district when the accident occurred. MSF extends its deepest condolences to the families and friends of our staff, and to those of the pilot of the helicopter, who was also sadly killed.  

We trust that the privacy of the families will be respected at this difficult time, and we continue to offer our support to all affected staff and their families.

Update 25 May 2015

Ann Taylor, our head of mission, speaks about responding to the huge needs in the aftermath of the massive natural disaster.

"On 21 May, a logistics team landed in a village in the Arughat region (Gorkha district) to distribute hygiene kits (including buckets, soap, towels and detergent). A medical team accompanied them and will hold consultations.

"The helicopter had to come back several times to deliver the hygiene kits. The two teams will go to different isolated villages.

"The operation will begin again next week, with the distribution of tents, blankets, and jerry cans because 80-100 percent of the houses in this area were destroyed.

"People are sleeping outside and need shelters. It’s pretty urgent as the monsoons will start soon.

"This helicopter operation will also allow us to refer patients to our hospital in Arughat, if necessary. It includes an operating room, a labor and delivery unit, and an emergency room."

Read the full interview with Ann.

Update: 13 May 2015

A second major earthquake struck Nepal yesterday, just over two weeks after the previous earthquake hit.

Shortly after the second earthquake hit Nepal we quickly started assessing needs in the affected areas, most of which are again in the remote mountain districts.

An MSF team that headed for Dolakha district witnessed first-hand villages being destroyed by the earthquake and landslides. Dolakha district was at the epicentre of yesterday’s 7.3 magnitude earthquake.

In Charikot, a village at the edge of the mountain, buildings had collapsed. The village of Sailungeshwar was affected by many landslides, some of which were ongoing at the time of the assessment. 

MSF is assessing the needs in the affected areas while providing medical and relief assistance to the populations in need including those affected by the April 25 earthquake.

Since 29 April, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) medical teams in Nepal have started reaching people spread across isolated mountain villages by helicopter and on foot. The districts of Dhading, Gorkha, Rasuwa and Sindhupalchowk were hit hard on 25 April and little or no assistance has reached many villages.

While the most critically injured people were evacuated in the days immediately after the earthquake, those remaining have been trapped in their villages as roads and walking tracks have been cut off by avalanches and landslides.

MSF medical teams are flying by helicopter to assess the needs and provide assistance in these remote villages. From 29 April to 4 May, MSF’s medical teams saw people in more than 15 villages.

On 3 May, an MSF team also set up a temporary clinic in the area of Chhapchet, in Dhading district, and began providing basic healthcare and minor surgical interventions.

The team will work to spread the word in the surrounding villages that people can now come to the clinic to receive care. On 4 May, another team landed in Lapubesi in Gorkha district, and will stay for three days to provide medical assistance in the area.

“We are seeing people in need of basic healthcare, as well as a number of people with wounds sustained in the earthquake that have now become infected,” says Anne Kluijtmans, an MSF nurse.

“We are cleaning and dressing wounds, as well as distributing antibiotics and pain medication. We have also treated cases of pneumonia, including among children.”

Emergency aid for Nepal

We will also send 3,000 medical and non-food items kits to Nepal.

A 7.8-magnitute earthquake shook the Kathmandu Valley before noon on Saturday. Although the extent of the damages is still unknown, initial reports say houses and buildings collapsed in Kathmandu and surrounding areas.

Tremors were also strongly felt in northern India, in the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

Find out more about our response to date from Dr Prince Mathew, who is working in Nepal

Find out more about how we respond to natural disasters.

This page will be updated regularly with new information on our emergency response as the situation develops. Follow @MSF_UK on Twitter for realtime updates. 

MSF previously worked in Nepal from 2002 to 2009 - this is a summary of our work

Why were we there?

  • Armed conflict

Nepal Links

Historical

Latest Activity Report (2009)

MSF worked in Nepal between 2002 and 2009. Teams provided healthcare to people affected by the conflict between government forces and the Communist Party of Nepal which lasted from 1996 until 2006, and by the resurgence of violence that accompanied a chaotic peace process. MSF worked where help was most needed, including in basic healthcare, reproductive healthcare and water and sanitation provision.

Despite Nepal’s struggles with political stability after the peace process, MSF left the country as government agencies and developmental organisations started to take a longer-term approach to covering the people’s health needs.

Oxytocin misuse

Teams worked to increase knowledge about reproductive health and called for better access to good-quality public health services. Through a number of national radio announcements and education at local level, MSF also addressed the issue of oxytocin misuse.

The drug, used to stimulate contractions in pregnant women, is widely misused. This can result in foetal and neonatal deaths, and ruptures of the uterus. The drug can be used safely in small doses if the baby is overdue, but in Nepal it is common to take high doses to try to induce a birth prematurely, especially to make the birth take place on a religiously significant date.

In May 2009, MSF handed over programmes in the isolated mountainous Kalikot district. Up until then MSF had offered basic and secondary healthcare, tuberculosis treatment and emergency services with a special focus on healthcare for pregnant women and children under five.

In 2009, MSF carried out more than 10,000 consultations and assisted with 192 deliveries.

Handing over

In December 2009, MSF handed over its last remaining programme in the Terai region of Nepal, which provided free medical services, emergency consultations, maternal healthcare, and treatment of acutely malnourished children.

In the areas affected by internal unrest MSF used mobile clinics in the most neglected areas and transferred patients needing more care to its facility at Gaur District Hospital. MSF carried out more than 10,000 consultations and assisted more than 1,300 deliveries.

In the areas where it worked, MSF left behind an improved level of care for mothers and newborns, and better trained staff.

 

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