We are pleased to hear about the continuing hard work and dedication of Nepal Physiotherapy Association (NEPTA) members providing high quality patient care to the many acute injuries in this difficult time. Doctors, patients and the community have become more aware of our profession. Looking to the future, with increasing casualties across the country, physiotherapy will take a leading role in meeting the medium to long term rehabilitation needs of the earthquake victims. With this in mind, we want to update you on the plans that are starting to be put in place to meet these needs.
By the initiative of the Ministry of Health (MOH), a rehabilitation ‘subcluster’ has been formed. This is a small group, including representatives from Ministry of Health and Population (MOHP) , NEPTA, Handicap International (HI), UK emergency medical team and several other organisations. This group will take the lead in helping to coordinate the rehabilitation response during the earthquake. This will include (1) establishing the current rehabilitation capabilities of facilities and (2) mapping where the rehabilitation needs are the greatest based on the impact of the tremors. This will help our resources to utilize strategically.
Some other decisions that will affect our provision of services include:
- Establishment of a warehouse (store-house) by HI to store donated equipment in a central location. These equipment can be accessed by any rehabilitation providers (including we physiotherapists) after a request to HI. NEPTA can also facilitate your request with a simple post on facebook.
- Step-down transit shelters for the post acute care will be established for rehabilitation of patients with trauma at four different centres including Kirtipur, Gorkha, Nuwakot and Rasuwa. The Kirtipur centre is the immediate priority. It is planned that these centres will accommodate patients to allow them to travel to hospitals for rehabilitation. It is expected to be up and functional very very soon.
- Volunteer Nepalese physios may be requested to work at various district hospitals or at different community based rehabilitation service facilities. The 20 physios recruited by HI will also be a part of this response.
- International physio friends will not be called for help at this stage. Only after a careful assessment of the needs and capabilities of our Nepali rehabilitation team, specialists will be called upon for any help at later dates. But real need or a specific gap in our abilities to provide effective treatment need to be identified.
In days to come, NEPTA may request you to fill forms regarding your information for the database for this noble purpose, so please bear with us and please do cooperate. Let us all work together to help the nation and its people.
We will attempt to keep you updated throughout this process.