By Susan Burns, General Counsel, Adara Group Director, Adara Development (Australia) and Adara Development (Uganda)
Adara Development is a Global Washington member.
I was on the phone to my sister when I saw the email arrive – Nepal had been hit by a massive earthquake. As the next few hours unfolded, I could not believe the images that were rolling in. Kathmandu, the beautiful city I had visited just one week earlier, had been ravaged, and thousands of Nepalis were feared dead. The devastation to the people and cultural heritage of an incredible nation has just been heartbreaking to watch.
Just two days after the earthquake hit, the Adara team in Nepal had already begun the first phase of Adara’s disaster response, launching a mobile medical camp to treat victims of the earthquake in and around Kathmandu. Hospitals and health clinics in the area are well over capacity, unable to deal with even the most severe cases with no Intensive Care Unit beds available.
With an estimated 6,800 Nepalis injured by the quake, there is a huge need for health services. For the past few years, Adara has run mobile medical camps in the remote region of Humla Nepal, bringing doctors, nurses, specialists and other health professionals to the region to improve healthcare access. This meant our Nepal team already had the resources and the know-how to launch a similar programme in Kathmandu to deal with emergency healthcare issues.
The team is led by Menuka Rai, Adara’s Medical and Health Coordinator, and includes two doctors from Adara’s Humla medical camps, and the team from our local partner organisation the Himalayan Medical Foundation (an organisation that provides free basic healthcare services to more than 10,000 disadvantaged people each year). Some of the Adara Youth from Adara’s trafficked kids programme are also volunteering their time to reach as many people as possible.
The team has hired two jeeps and plans to travel to different affected areas to help people with sanitation materials and emergency first aid medicine. With so many roads closed, and people fearful to move around, I am so proud of the Adara team’s bravery and determination to make sure people in need get the help they need. Our team has supplies of rehydration medicines, sanitisers, medicine for diarrhoea and cholera, bandages, water purifying tablets and many other items stockpiled, and will also provide health education to help people avoid diarrhoeal disease and other health issues, as sanitation will likely continue to be an issue for many months.
The mobile medical camp is just one of the actions Adara will take in the coming months to respond to this disaster and help the people of Nepal, and is already reaching people in need on the ground. To learn more about our long term plans in Nepal, please visit our blog page.
If you would like to make a contribution to Adara’s Nepal relief appeal, please visit our blog for donation instructions. Every dollar donated will go directly to the relief effort, with the Adara business covering all administration and overhead costs.