Dr. Nimesh Khanal
COVID-19 has been a global burden since the turn of 2020. Healthcare systems are exhausted worldwide by the nuisance caused by SARS-COV-2. Nepal has lost lives on a large scale in 2021 and great numbers of livelihood have been devastated emotionally and economically throughout the country. Moreover, we as health professionals have come out of our way to serve our community to battle this havoc. Many of us have worked day and night in hospitals, COVID wards, and isolation centers. Some of us have even lost lives working and serving. We are still doing whatever possible to lend our hands to the people who are in need. And with that said, I, as a young doctor have been serving in a Telehealth service conducted by Health Foundation Nepal.
Dr. Ashish Guragain
Packed beds, chaotic wards, mass casualties, tensions running high, and no end in sight! It was an everyday story circa May 2021 when Nepal was documenting an unprecedented number of Covid-19 cases. With a modest health care system stretched beyond capacity, the medical practitioners felt the brunt of the tsunami daily. I had never felt so helpless when I witnessed people gasping for air and fighting for their lives as oxygen supplies dwindled precariously all over the country. I think most of my fellow healthcare workers would agree when I say that such sights were too taxing on our hearts and minds to even behold.
Dr. Ashish K Shrestha
It was that time of the year when nothing was going according to plan. All the plans were canceled and all the dreams shattered. I had to pick myself up and begin from scratch. As I was going through personal turmoil, the world was under the grasp of a very powerful evil. As we were thinking 2021 was going to be so much better than last year, the delta variant of COVID-19 took over the whole show. Due to the high rates of transmission and severity along with our unpreparedness, the country was on a brink of collapse. When the national data increased from 200 daily positive cases to 5000, the hospitals of the entire nation were overwhelmed. It was very chaotic and distressful, hearing the demise of many close relatives and people around the country. No availability of hospital beds, shortage of oxygen supplies, and the rapidly increasing crowd of patients outside the hospitals were the daily broadcasted headlines that aided in adding fuel to the existing wildfire of anxiety. Due to this dreaded situation, I wanted to help the people and the country to fight this war. I was in search of an organization that would provide telemedicine services and address these issues of the entire nation. Finally, Health Foundation Nepal (HFN) came to my rescue. It was such a well-organized and selfless team, working for the benefit of the people. Through this platform, I got the opportunity to contribute my care to patients and in return, could develop my skill as a good physician as well.
Dr. Anish Shah
“When she became disturbingly short of breath, we had no choice but to take her to the hospital. But as we reached there, a long queue of people in much worse condition than my mother — some groaning in the heat of high-grade fever, while others gasping for bouts of air as if it were their last — awaited on that hospital gate for as basic of things as oxygen and hospital bed. Everyone had one thing in common, one relative stood beside them; worried, sobbing, or wailing like desolate children amidst the rubble of a disaster. And I stood beside my mother, confused and utterly hopeless” said Kush (changed name) when he called for our telemedicine service at around 8 PM that night asking for some help. He was one of the many stranded by the overwhelmed health system when the second wave of COVID-19 hit Nepal. The people who would be ideal candidates for admission in critical care units were sent back home, some with oxygen and others with just vapid refusals. All the hospital beds were occupied.