Remembering Nepal earthquake: Struggle for health facilities continue

Nearly 80% of health facilities in the affected districts were either damaged or destroyed in the quake

GN Bureau | April 25, 2016


#Nepal Earthquake Anniversary   #Health   #Nepal   #Nepal Earthquake  

(Photo: Arun Kumar)

It’s been a year since 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, killing at least 8,000 people, leaving more than 21,000 injured and two million homeless. The neighbouring country, however, fights to return to normalcy even after year.

Nearly 80 percent of health facilities in the affected districts were either damaged or destroyed in the earthquake. A year after the health department is still trying to reach the villages for the reconstruction of health facilities.

It is to be noted that Nepal's healthcare facilities have always been limited which quickly become much worse outside its major cities. Remote regions have only very basic medical centres that are ill-equipped to handle serious injuries, as Reuters reported.

“The preparations that were done in Kathmandu hospitals helped saved many lives. Similar preparations need to be put in place at all other levels too, so that in the event of an emergency, everyone in the entire health system is prepared and knows what to do. As health facilities are being reconstructed, there is an opportunity to build better, and put more risk reduction measures in place,” Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director , World Health Organisation, South-East Asia.

PHOTOS: Revisiting our file photos from quake-hit Nepal

She stressed on how things could have been done better in badly affected places and highlighted on the need of extending emergency preparedness and response measures to other districts.

While addressing a two–day ‘Lessons Learnt Conference: Health Sector Response to Nepal Earthquake 2015’ organised by the ministry of health, Nepal in Kathmandu, Khetrapal emphasised on learning from the Nepal earthquake, as from the Indian Ocean tsunami.

Laying thrust on robust emergency response plans, she said, “These plans should be at all levels and should be tested periodically for their effectiveness. These plans should be all encompassing – from ensuring resilient and safe hospitals, to training health staff and effectively engaging communities, to minimise the health impact of any emergency.”

 
 

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