The future is unknown to everyone. Aita Bahadur Gurung, a 55-year-old man from Shulikot Rural Municipality Ward-7, a neighboring village of Arupokhari, was brought to the RMF Health Clinic in an unconscious state. When investigating the patient's history, he was said to have gone to Gorkha Bazar and fallen on the way home. He had been unconscious since his fall.
The family learned that Aita was lying unconscious a couple of hours after the incident. They went to the place, and as there are no health facilities in the area and the nearest hospital is more than an 8-hour walk away, they brought him to the RMF Health Clinic, the only 24-hour health service provider in the area. RMF's clinic staff also learned that Aita was chronically alcoholic and had sustained an unusual injury on his right leg. It was a very large blister from a burn injury, but Aita was ignorant about the cause and time of the injury, and there was no one who witnessed it.
Upon general assessment of the patient, RMF's clinic staff found that Aita had very low blood pressure. Immediately, an IV was inserted and 2 pints of normal saline were infused. After the infusion, Aita gained consciousness. Once he was stabilized, the cause of his unconsciousness and the cause of referred to the district hospital for further investigations. At the district hospital, Aita's leg wound was cleaned, debrided, and dressed with medication. Then, he was referred back to the RMF Health Clinic for daily dressing.
After a month of dressing the wound daily and providing counseling about alcohol abuse and his condition, Aita's wound was healing very well. Above all, it was miraculous when he announced,
"I had been drinking badly, so badly that my family misbehaved with me. When all this happened to me and I saw their dedication in my care, I felt guilty. For everyone's good, I gave up drinking."
His family is grateful to RMF's clinic staff. Had it not been for the RMF Health Clinic, Aita would not have received immediate care and consistent follow-up treatment, and he could have been dead long ago. Aita is a new man, they say.
RMF's clinic staff provides free, around-the-clock primary health care services to the people of Arupokhari and its neighboring villages and provides medicines at highly subsidized rates. 2,053 patients visited the RMF Health Clinic from June 2017 to August 2017, averaging 684 patients a month.
In line with RMF’s concepts and the government of Nepal’s vision for a comprehensive and eventually sustainable Model Village, RMF, in close partnership and collaboration with Sarswati Foundation will be working towards the development of a Model Village in Arupokhari. Sarswati Foundation has been working in Arupokhari, Gorkha since 2009 as a non-profit. This was co-founded by Subhash Ghimire, a native from that village and editor-in-chief of the Republica, Nepal’s leading English daily that publishes with the New York Times in Kathmandu.
Following the devastating earthquake, the non-profit has been actively engaged in relief and reconstruction works in the area, which includes providing food and temporary shelter relief to the affected people. So far, the foundation has delivered 7.5 tons (100 sacks of 30 kg rice, 50 sacks of 50 kg lentils, 500 sacks of 0.5 L of oil, 500 packets of 1 kg salt, 495 blankets, 350 tents) to the community, and aims to rebuild the village as a replicable model, which will include earthquake-safe structures designed by architects and engineers, utilizing local natural and human resources to ensure ownership and sustainability, improved healthcare access, education and livelihood programs, based on the needs of the communities and with the leadership of the local people.
Similarly, the village also holds a huge potential as a thriving Manaslu trekking route, along with a 600-megawatt hydro project being planned around in the area. In addition, the community is also actively engaged in production of local agricultural products and livestock. With a thought-out detailed plan, the opportunities of the village could be tapped in to create a replicable, integrated and sustainable Model Village.
RMF supports the rebuilding of Sarswati Peace School (more than 200 students, mostly from economically and culturally marginalized backgrounds) and Darbar Higher Secondary School (public school with more than 400 students), both of which were badly damaged during the earthquake. The current plan is to demolish the existing damaged structure and construct earthquake resistant buildings.
Along with the support to the reconstruction of the schools, the model village project also seeks to help build at least 100 temporary shelters and 700 permanent houses to the identified most vulnerable households in the community and one earthquake resistant local health center. Health services, education, and the economy will be supported for the long-term as the people of Arupokhari build a stronger future in collaboration with RMF and Sarswati.