Our Work in Country
Although Americares had done very limited work in the country prior to the earthquake (primarily through support for volunteer medical outreach teams), the organization responded to the disaster within 48 hours and quickly established a presence in the overall response effort. It was determined after assessing the damage to the health system that Americares would establish an in-country office, warehouse and longer-term health programs to restore health services for survivors, rebuild health facilities and address the stress and trauma wounds caused by the disaster.
When a major disaster strikes a very poor nation like Nepal, the consequences are dire. The massive earthquake that struck on April 25, 2015 devastated this mountainous country and left thousands dead and many thousands more injured and homeless. The damage to the health care system was extensive and left many without access to any care.
in emergency medicine and project support to help survivors immediately and strengthen health systems for years to come.
Our Nepal team has focused earthquake recovery programs in several key areas of community health:
- Help earthquake survivors requiring injury and rehabilitation care with the opening of a rehabilitation unit which now provides follow-up rehabilitation services, nursing care, health education, psychosocial support, and safe shelter for patients with sustained earthquake-related injuries and disabilities. The Unit assists patients and their families in making the transition from hospital care back to the community. Considering the need and request of the local community, the service was extended to non-earthquake patients as well. To date hundreds of patients and their families have benefitted.
- Provide mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) to affected communities. One project combined drama and performing arts therapy with increased opportunities for community-led psychosocial group counseling at the village level. In addition to the arts therapy project, mental health and psychosocial support training opportunities have been provided for health workers, specifically Female Community Health Volunteers, along with recurrent group counseling to support community efforts in this area.
- Over the long term, the team is working with partners in country to restore health services and rebuild health facilities – this includes reconstruction and rehabilitation through the build back better approach and capacity building initiatives in areas where health facilities have been rebuilt or reinforced including efforts to reduce diarrheal disease, integrate mental health at the primary care level, and enhance disaster risk reduction efforts at the local health center level.