University graduates visit Nepal for their elective

In March and April of 2017, Nooria Iqbal, a medical student at the University of Nottingham, and two friends visited Nepal for their medical elective. Nooria tells her story below:

We were based at Kanti Children’s Hospital in Kathmandu, and during our stay there we were able to rotate through various specialties following teams on PICU and NICU (paediatric and neonatal intensive care units), burns wards, oncology and general medical wards. We saw a combination of conditions, some of which we had never seen in the UK such as TB and thalassaemia. However, what was most striking about the hospital was the ethic held there. Although the initial visit was a shock, seeing the state of some poorer families not being able to afford treatments, and the work done with fewer resources, as we got the know Kanti, we witnessed more cases where staff were willing to go to make sure their patients got the treatment they needed. 

What we saw in the hospital rang true throughout Nepal. I found it to be a deeply spiritual country, one that was distinguished by a simple compassion on the backdrop of stunning natural beauty. In our free time, we were able to take short treks to Poon Hill during which we met wonderful and encouraging locals, experienced the calm of Pokhara, and were able to stay in Yangrima boarding school at the foothills of the Helambu mountain range. This last experience was indeed a gift, seeing the life and work of the school, and what such hard work has achieved there. 

Nepal was an amazing experience, and one from which I have been lucky enough to learn a great deal. I would love to keep a connection with this country and go back to visit when I can.

Mersey School of Anaesthesia makes pioneering five-year funding award to help train doctors in Nepal

The Mersey School of Anaesthesia (MSA) has announced a five-year funding donation for the first time – to benefit doctors helping Nepal recover from the devastating earthquakes.

Dr Shambhu Acharya (left) with Dr Tushar Dixit

The £5,000 donation to Health Exchange Nepal (HEXN), a UK-based charity, will pay for training programmes for anaesthetists in the Himalayan country.

Nepal’s infrastructure was badly damaged by an earthquake measuring 8.1 on the Richter Scale in 2015, which caused the deaths of 9,000 people and injured more than 20,000 others, with a massive impact on the country’s health system.

Dr Shambhu Acharya of HEXN, who also works as an anaesthetist at Aintree University Hospital, welcomed the donation from the MSA, the first of its kind which the organisation has made.

Dr Acharya said: “This extremely generous support will enable us to provide additional education and training for doctors in Nepal. It will make a tremendous difference to the care which they can offer their patients.

“Knowing that we have an ongoing funding stream from the MSA enables us to plan well ahead, which is very good news indeed. We are incredibly grateful to the MSA.”

Dr Tushar Dixit, Associate Director of MSA and Consultant Anaesthetist at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospital said “MSA has supported many educational activities related to Anaesthesia within Merseyside for many years. For the first time, MSA is able to provide continuous financial support to improve education and training of doctors in anaesthesiology in Nepal and support HEXN in their commendable work. We feel very fortunate to be associated with HEXN in this noble cause of nation re-building.


Liverpool Fundraising Dinner: 12 February

Health Exchange Nepal (HExN) is holding its first fundraising dinner of 2017 in Liverpool, on Sunday 12 February.

Starting at 3pm, the event will include culture activities including dancing/singing and a buffet of Nepalese/Indian food, plus raffles and an auction.

Tickets for this fun, informal event are £25, with all profits going directly to HExN to help its work of providing clinical and educational support in Nepal, improving the lives of thousands of people each year.

The earthquakes which hit Nepal in 2015 have had a long-lasting effect beyond the loss of lives and permanent injuries caused to so many. Tourism, a vital source of income for Nepal, has dipped sharply.

The fundraising dinner, at the New Derry Social Club in Everton, will also include a short update on progress in Nepal. The event is supported by the Nepalese Community in Liverpool Group.

Tickets are by donation of £25 minimum – please book these via this link so that HExN can benefit from gift aid - The page includes a full programme and location details.

While we already have some raffle prizes, you are still encouraged to bring gifts, prizes, liquors, wine etc for the auction & raffle on the day. These would be very much appreciated. 

We look forward to seeing you in Liverpool at our charity fundraiser. Parking is available at the site (Post code L5 0QW),

HExN colleagues run a series of successful workshops in Kathamndu

The two day ultrasound anaesthesia course at Kirtipur, led by Dr Aryal and Dr Brodbeck, included two practical sessions in ICU and Theatres, and an additional ultrasound of lung, heart and abdomen. 

An enthusiastic group of eleven young doctors attended the workshop, most of whom had some ultrasound experience, and the feedback was excellent.

The colorectal course facilitated by Lancashire Teaching Hospital Consultant Patrick Keating included lectures in the morning and a theatre case video linked into the lecture room in the afternoon. 

Ultrasound anaesthesia course starts at Kirtipur hospital

James Paget University Hospital's General Surgeon Dr Kamal Aryal and Dr Andreas Brodbeck, Consultant in Anaesthesia, Intensive Care and Pain Medicine, launched the Health Exchange Nepal comprehensive ultrasound regional anaesthesia course jointly with PHECT hospital Kirtipur on Tuesday 15 November. 

Overview to follow.

Supporting the Parents Care Home in Nepal

Health Exchange Nepal is delighted to approve a fund to support the operation and management of Parents Care Home in Kathmandu.

The Parents Care Home is a non-governmental organisation that has provided a home for 10-15 vulnerable elderly and disabled people for the last five years.

The fund of £2500.00 will be used for day to day operation of the care home including the provision of food, clothes, health care and other general activities.

To find out more about Parents Care Home, visit the Facebook page. 

Anaesthesia Pain and Critical Care Medicine (CURRENT 2016) Refresher Course in Kathmandu

Health Exchange Nepal (UK) organised a refresher course in Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) on 26 August 2016 in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Dr Shambhu Acharya took the responsibility of forming an international faculty and the rest of the faculty members were from TUTH for this meeting. It was an opportunity as well as a challenge to find the experts in the relevant fields who were willing to go to Nepal during a holiday season on a voluntary basis.

Three consultant anaesthetists from Aintree (Dr Shambhu Acharya, Dr Raj Nagaraja and Dr Shetty) and Dr Jagadish Agrawal from Wirral Hospitals and one paediatrician Dr Sujay from United Arab Emirates kindly agreed to be the faculty members to go to Nepal.

A range of topics were included in the course. The international faculty covered the following topics:

  • Anaphylaxis: Dr Shambhu Acharya
  • Complications of regional anaesthesia: Dr Ravish Shetty
  • Pregnancy induced hypertension: Dr Jagadish Agrawal
  • Neonatal resuscitation: Dr N Sujay
  • Critical appraisal of scientific papers: Dr Raj Nagaraja
  • Fluid management in trauma patients: Dr Raj Nagaraja

There were many challenges for our faculty as Nepal lacks many resources and some drugs are not available there and some alternatives were to be found that could be used in Nepal. 

Photo (Left to Right):
Dr Gentle Shrestha, Dr Diptesh Aryal (Co-ordinator for the course in Nepal), Dr Nagaraja, Prof Bimal Kumar Sinha (Acting Dean, Institute of Medicine), Dr Acharya, Prof Marhatta (HoD of Anaesthesia, TUTH), Dr Anil Shrestha