The Hospital and Rehabilitation Center for Disabled Children, the only children’s orthopedic hospital in Nepal, is working toward treating Nepalese children and performing affordable surgeries that would otherwise go undone.
In Nepal, about 83 percent of the population lives below the $2 a day poverty line. Once a child gets sick, it is unlikely that its family can make it to a treatment center or hospital, and less likely that the family could pay for for the treatment without crippling its savings. The HCDR was created to change that.
The HCDR was erected in 1997, but the team has been working with children’s surgeries since 1985 in remote villages and smaller buildings. The organization’s founder and current leader is Dr. Ashok Kumar Banskota, a Nepalese doctor who was educated in India and the United States.
Once he returned to Nepal after his studies, Dr. Banskota wanted to make healthcare accessible to all who need it in his home country rather than to just the rich or those in the most accessible regions.
The HCDR is a tertiary level pediatric hospital that performs about 1,500 surgeries each year, and provides physical therapy and prosthetics when needed. In order to reach as many patients as possible for aftercare, HCDR has community-based rehabilitation services that follow up with patients in their villages and show families how to properly care for their children after surgery.
The team has worked hard to make its care accessible to all, with the average cost of surgery at only $151. It has also incorporated home visits to make post-surgery adjustments easier on the patients as well.
HRDC works on continually training new doctors to keep its hospital well staffed. They get trained in Primary Rehabilitation Therapy in order to continue recovery for patients. There are also periodic courses offered to keep everyone up to date.
A study done to test the impact of HRDC on the patients it has treated previously showed positive results. The study showed over 90 percent of the children reported positive impact from HRDC treatment on further growth and development, both physically and socially.
– Courtney Prentice