It feels like we have been here for months but when I look at the clock I realise that we have been here for just 11 days, our time stretched by keeping busy. We have spent much of our time at Khagendra, I have started working at Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) and we have had a chance to explore some of the valley fringe by foot. When walking around the Kathmandu valley, it is sad to see whole villages destroyed by the earthquake and people in temporary corrugated iron homes, donated by international charities. Many people are waiting until after the monsoon to rebuild their homes, many others are not in a position where they can afford the materials at this time.
At Khagendra, We have had the pleasure of meeting many of the new residents and get use out of some of the basic Physiotherapy equipment, which has sadly been neglected since Subash (Therapist and overseer of everything!) has left and is yet to be replaced. My parents are loved by all the residents and have been adopted as 'Ama' and 'Ba'(Mum and Dad) by all. We have been continually assessing for things to improve and equipment that will ease the life of both the staff and residents. Many of the residents wheelchairs are missing footplates and inappropriate in size and shape. We see it as a priority that we make sure every resident is in a suitable and comfortable chair. Today I spoke with a technician at SIRC and he kindly agreed to visit the Centre for assessment on his day off. This attitude spans the workforce at SIRC and many of the staff including Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and a Social Worker have shown interest in visiting Khagendra in the upcoming weeks.
I have thoroughly enjoyed working at SIRC over the past week and it has given me a great opportunity to see the services and equipment available locally. The Centre is holistic in its approach including culturally appropriate occupational training such as basket weaving and mobile phone repairs, multi terrain wheelchair course to replicate the unreliable Nepali roads and a fully staffed Psycho-social department. They have expanded the Service dramatically following the earthquake, treating over 150 residents at peak. Many residents following their rehabilitation are unable to return home, often due to the harsh Himalayan terrain meaning wheelchair accessibility is impossible or in the more severe patient who has care issues. This vulnerable patient group are in a difficult situation and reliant on Khagendra and similar services for a home, it may be that in the future further links can be established.
Thanks again for your support, it feels like things are moving the right way!'