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Equipping Frontline Workers in Nepal

Let all things be done for building up (1 Corinthians 14v26) 

Following the devastating earthquakes in Nepal in 2015, EMMS International, in partnership with INF, has been undertaking a palliative care project to assess the needs of the people affected by the earthquake in two rural districts, Gorkha and Lamjung, and to provide training and support to health care workers in these areas. 

In 2016-17, the palliative care team undertook field work, exploring the stories of those with advanced chronic illness, severe disability or who are old and frail. This included a house-to-house survey to estimate the numbers of people in these categories. From the results of this field work, a palliative care training course was developed.  

Recently, 23 health post workers (some pictured above) from the Lamjung and Gorkha areas attended the first ever first two-day palliative care training course led by Nurse Manju, an INF specialist palliative care nurse supported by EMMS International, and Dr Dan Munday, at Green Pastures training centre.   

“These health post workers in remote areas are the front line of provision of care in rural areas and it was very exciting to see their enthusiasm and see how the palliative care endeavours that INF has facilitated over past years is making a difference”, says Dr Dan Munday. 

IMG_0873.JPGThe training was the first of its kind, concentrating mainly on non-communicable diseases, like respiratory and cardiovascular, which are the greatest need in Nepal, but remain largely neglected. Central to the training was the new tool, “Supportive and Palliative Care Indicator Tool for Low Income Settings”, a tool which has recently been adapted by an international consultative group following the initial work of the INF team. The tool will help the health care workers identify people who could benefit from a palliative care approach and guide them to providing such care. 

Since the training, Nurse Manju (pictured left) and INF’s community worker, Mr Bijay, are planning to provide some follow up for those who attended the course, to help them utilise their new knowledge and to develop skill in caring for those who need palliative care.