Nepal, here we come!

Two days from now, I will be in Kathmandu, Nepal with my fellow team members of Swastha Nepal. The forever anticipated service trip to Nepal by this team is finally becoming true.  This anticipation that started over a year ago is now becoming a reality, and for this the credit goes to our professor mentors and the wonderful team that have worked together to make this happen. The main purpose of this service trip is to investigate the problems affecting the health of the rural population in Nepal and create a foundation for future trips to the community.

The original plan for this project was to establish a medical camp in Deupur village in Nepal during the time interval of 01/04/2012 to 01/09/2012, and use public health survey questionnaires to investigate the issues in health in the community. However, because of travel difficulties and time management, the health clinic has been rescheduled to be conducted from 01/08/2012 to 01/12/2012 in Naldum village, Nepal.  While this medical clinic will be a huge part of our project investigation to carry out public health research in the community, we will also be visiting various hospitals in the city while we are there, and this would be the first part of our project trip.

This updated version of our project includes visits/tours to six different hospital facilities located around Kathmandu, Nepal. Since the community we are conducting our research on is very different from what we have been accustomed to here in America, these visits to the hospitals will give us a platform to observe and understand the Nepalese health system a little bit closer.  We hope at least to get an overview of where the Health system in Nepal stands at this point, and how the system works there.  This information at hand, could serve as a basis for us to compare and evaluate the health facilities situated in the village we will be working for our public health research. We are hoping that visiting these hospital sites and getting to know a little bit about the health system there will ease our transition from a college classroom understanding of Nepalese health system  to a practical medical clinic based setting for our research purposes. For a group of students like us where most of our knowledge about Nepalese health system is based on internet resources, we are hoping that visiting the country, its hospitals and working in the village among the villagers will prove to be very eye opening for us. We are hoping that this step will ease our understanding about the situation of public health and its current condition in Nepal and guide our future plans accordingly.

I will be recording about our experiences in Nepal and what we see and do once we get there. I am not bringing a laptop with me because of the amount of travel we are planning to do within the country and accommodation, however, I will be writing about our work and experiences as I get the opportunity (and access to internet.)  Even though I am not so pumped for the insane amount of air-travel (almost 20 hours of flying) starting on this New Year’s Eve, I am beyond excited to finally get to Nepal and work on our project there. I can’t contain my excitement regarding this trip. Hopefully this project will prove to be a great start to a new year for us.