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.

HExN Charity Lunch in Support of Earthquake Victims

Sunday 25 September: 1.30 - 4.00pm at Khushi Indian Buffet Restaurant, Middlesbrough

An invite from Dr. Anil Tuladhar:

We, as local members of Health Exchange Nepal (HExN) UK, would like to invite you all for the fundraising Charity Lunch event to support "Nepal Earthquake victims relief, rehabilitation and training" at Khushi Restaurant, Middlesbrough on 25 September 2016. 

HExN (UK) has been instrumental in providing immediate relief, providing shelters, rebuilding schools, and restoring water supplies to the areas affected by the 2015 Nepal earthquake. We are slowly moving towards rehabilitation by training the health professionals, and we also have been regularly running Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons endorsed courses and workshops to train local health professionals.

Please make this a grand event by supporting us for this just cause.

To book your place at the lunch, please email Anil Tuladhar at by 15 September 2016.  

Support us in helping improve the health and well-being of the people of Nepal by donating now

Hoorah for Harry in the Himalayas

It takes a lot for TV crews and photographer to return to a past disaster once it has slipped from the front pages.

       IMAGE BY: European Pressphoto Agency

So with the anniversary of the devastating earthquakes, which killed thousands of people and changed many more lives forever with long-term injuries approaching, it was perfect timing for the UK’s Prince Harry to undertake an awareness raising trip to the country. His visit was to both mark 200 years of formal diplomatic relations between the UK and Nepal, and also to highlight the progress in recovering from the earthquakes.

Like many of our HExN teams, Prince Harry spent time in both Kathmandu and remote villages, reminding millions of people internationally about how widespread the impact was.

Nepali hospitality shines through

The Kensington Palace media team have an international reputation, and the photo-opportunities were superb, from Prince Harry sleeping in local houses, to being named honorary head of a village, daubed in red paint as part of celebrations for Holi and playing volleyball, a sport very popular in village areas where clear, level ground is often at a premium.

The hospitality, generosity and remarkable fortitude of Nepal’s people shone through in every photo, and clearly impacted on the prince, who had served alongside Gurkhas when he was deployed in Afghanistan.

Prince Harry’s message, covered by UK and international media, was clear:

“I pay my respects to those who perished and hope to do what I can to shine a spotlight on the resilience of the Nepali people."

Tourism is key to Nepal's recovery

However, Prince Harry’s trip was not purely about reflecting the impact of the earthquakes, and the country’s work to recover.

Patan Durbar Square after the earthquakes

He sent out a strong message about the value and role of tourism, visiting artisans and apprentices working to restore the royal palace at Patan Durbar Square, which was heavily damaged by the quake. The prince held talks with Nepal's first female president, Bidya Devi Bhandari, when both recovery and tourism were on the agenda.

Talking to tourists during one of his walkabouts, Prince Harry said to one family:

“Well done, it's so, so important to encourage people to come back. Why wouldn't you come back here? It's beautiful."

The Prince’s words have a resonance to all of us who are privileged to have visited Nepal. Like Prince Harry, the country has found a place in our hearts. And we are not alone.

The UK has been one of the largest bilateral donors to Nepal, with a total commitment of £70 million in earthquake relief, according to figures released by the Department for International Development.

The warmth which the British hold for Nepal was seen by the amazing response to HExN’s own #NoSocksRocks appeal, which raised £100,000 against an initial target of just £10,000.

The prince’s visit painted a picture of a country recovering from a natural disaster of almost unimaginable scale. With trekking once again beginning to pick up in Nepal and work on the rebuilding of the historic buildings continuing, the role which visitors can play in assisting the nation to progress was perfectly illustrated by this very special Royal visit.