The 20-minute helicopter journey saves the team a 5-hour drive followed by a 5-hour hike to reach the medical clinic. The trail to Chaukati is narrow and since the earthquake, prone to landslides, so the helicopter saves more than just time.
The clinic MDM is helping to rebuild is little more than a pile of rubble. They estimate that one third of the health posts on their list, including this one, are now only accessible by helicopter.
Picking up the pieces
In the midst of the obvious physical damage to Chaukati there is more subtle damage as well. Anxiety, panic attacks, and other “unexplainable” physical symptoms have started to appear. The uncertainty and fear caused by the earthquakes has left many suffering from psychological trauma ranging from minor to severe.
The MDM health teams are working to train the area leaders (typically the school teachers, local officials, and health volunteers) in emergency preparedness, basic first aid and – a unique and needed element of the work here in Nepal – psychological first aid.
The classes teach awareness and symptoms of mental health issues, basic counseling/listening techniques, and information about referrals and where villagers can go if more help is needed. Since the earthquake, MDM has shared these important skills with 400 leaders across 18 regions within Nepal.
In addition to training, MDM mobile clinic teams conduct medical consultations in these rural villages. Two of their mobile teams are dedicated to areas only accessible by helicopter.
Since the earthquake, these “air teams” as MDM calls them, have reached their rural destinations exclusively by MAF coordinated helicopter. To date, these “air teams” have conducted 4,361 medical consultations, bringing quality medical care to areas that would be difficult or impossible to reach without the helicopter support.
We're still here
The service we are providing in Nepal is vital – currently we are accessing 177 destinations not served by any other humanitarian air operator.
In recent weeks we have flown:
- Medair toolkits for the construction of temporary shelter to the Gorkha district where Nepal Share also continues their unconditional cash distribution to needy families
- 8,000kg of WASH items to the Sindhupalchok district for Solidarities International as well as Medicine and expertise for the rebuilding of health clinics by Medecins du Monde
- an emergency medevac flight from Kashigaon and cargo of corrugated iron sheets for Phase Nepal
- the repatriated of a wheelchair patient with training for carers in the Gorkha district
- a three-month-old baby called Bihi severely bitten by a monkey, from a remote village in Northern Nepal to Kathmandu
- three loads of Anchored Relief passengers from Swara in the Gorkha district
- three flights of passengers and water supply materials to Ghap School in the Gorkha for Mountain Child.
Because of you!
MAF is still serving the people of Nepal thanks to your generous support.
UPDATE: MAF has now flown over 6,000 passengers!