Dr. Roman Dhital
As on every other day in my telemedicine duty, I was busy answering calls all afternoon. As soon as I hung up and went to the bathroom, my phone rang again. I hurried from the bathroom to pick up the call. I heard a familiar voice on the line. That person was pleading for help; he sounded stressed and anxious. "I am sick! I got infected with Covid-19! I have been trying to reach hospitals, but they do not have beds. I learned about this program from Facebook and called you right away." It was my friend on the phone. I had just met him ten days back and I had not talked to him after that. There were overwhelming no of COVID cases in the hospital I was working at, so I was busy with my own work. I panicked for a moment after hearing my friend's voice, but soon I got hold of myself and talked to my friend. We discussed his symptoms and as everything seemed fine, I reassured him about his health and asked him to stay in isolation.
Dr. Sajana Poudel
My first day at work
Fresh out of college, I was very excited to work as a medical officer. I was posted in a district hospital. On my first day at work, I woke up early in the morning, got ready, and was headed towards the OPD building by 9 am. I had to wait for almost an hour before the helper didi came and opened the doors. That day, I finished my OPD hours by almost 2.30, and later I was asked to continue the 24 hours duty. I happily said 'yes, because this was what I had wanted. I wanted to be busy, attend to patients and I wanted to feel like I was making an impact. Just as I was contemplating how great my day was going, I received a call from the police dai stationed at the hospital. Much to my dismay, he said that we had a postmortem case for the day and we had to complete it by 4 pm. He asked me to come with Bhim dai to the mortuary (name changed, Bhim dai was an office helper.)
Dr. Richa Dhakal
Volunteering in a nutshell
Nepal is a developing country where health care facilities are centralized in major cities. During the second wave of the COVID pandemic, patients were unable to get treatment in the hospitals due to limited resources, and so the death toll was increasing rapidly. Consultation with a doctor was next to impossible as many physician offices and clinics were closed during the lockdown. In this chaotic situation, while I was seeking ways to engage in providing care for those who needed it, I saw a post on social media asking for volunteers for teleconsultation. At such desperate times when the number of sick patients and death was rising, I immediately volunteered to serve. Through the telehealth platform, I was able to serve people from every corner of my country who otherwise I would not have been able to meet. For me, teleconsultation was a new and invigorating experience, where with the power of my voice, I was able to heal the sick.
Dr. Rohini Nepal
COVID and menstruation: two peas in a pod?
The whole world came to a standstill after COVID- 19 was declared a pandemic by the WHO in March 2020. A mere virus but so contagious and fatal that the fundamentally social human beings were compelled to be isolated. Looking at it from another perspective, it has become an example of how something so small can rattle the entire world and change its usual ways. Due to this unforeseen situation, going out was no more an option but, people found alternative ways to stay connected via means of technology. These very same technological advances that were debatable earlier on the grounds of promoting social isolation now turned out to be promoting social interaction from afar. Not only did it help promote social interaction at such desperate times but it also helped save lives. Yet another surprising turn of events while coping with the ongoing situation.
Tele-Mental Health: An initiative to bridge the gap between mental health care providers and their patients - Dr. Priyanka Shah
Dr. Priyanka Shah
The COVID-19 health crisis has led to economic hardship, bereavement and social isolation which has affected the mental health of the people globally. But poor health resources, lack of Intensive care beds in hospitals, lack of ventilators, lack of oxygen cylinders, poorly equipped health system, and political instability in the country have intensified the overall impact and suffering of mental health of people in our country Nepal.
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.
Dr. Milan Thapa
In April 2021, just when Nepal was trying to get back to normalcy after the first wave of COVID, the second wave hit the country. The hospitals were overwhelmed due to a large spike in the number of COVID19 cases and within a week, life-saving resources such as oxygen and ventilators became inadequate. Many people in need of hospitalization were compelled to stay at home due to the scarcity of hospital beds. The terror and panic spread everywhere.