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Bhutan to expand medical assistance to Nepal

A 15-member team is expected to leave for Trishuli tomorrow

Quake: Bhutan will increase its medical team in Nepal to 78 members, it was announced by Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay yesterday.

The team in Nepal, upon the command of His Majesty the King, is providing medical assistance to victims of the April 25 earthquake.

An additional 15 members will travel to Nepal tomorrow.  The additional members will consist of DeSuups, medical specialists and health workers.

The medical team also expanded its reach beyond Trishuli in Nuwakot district, by deploying two field units to the villages of Kaule and Shyamle yesterday, it was reported on the DeSuung Facebook page.

The field unit established a camp at Kaule village by mid-day yesterday.  The Kaule team treated 112 patients, including both earthquake victims and general cases, as of last evening.  The Kaule team also evacuated four patients to Kathmandu.

The second field unit at Shyamle reported that the village had sustained 99 percent damage.  It was reported on the DeSuung page that the team was not able to meet with the villagers, as they had moved up into the mountains.  The villagers are expected to return to the village today for medical treatment.

Both teams are expected to return to base camp at Trishuli this evening.

The medical base camp at Trishuli treated 64 patients yesterday.  This brings the total number of patients treated by the Bhutanese team, including the one at Kaule, to 680.  Today will be the seventh day the team has been in Nepal.

The Bhutanese medical team also treated a 101-year old man, who was rescued from under the rubble of his home in Nuwakot on Saturday, one week after the earthquake.  He is in a stable condition currently.

Funchu Tamang, 101, is being treated by the Bhutanese medical team. (Photo: CNN)

The centenarian’s story was also reported by CNN.

The team has mostly been dealing with orthopaedic cases requiring surgeries.  The team has also been dealing with patients suffering from trauma-induced stress disorders.

It was also reported that that the base camp experienced tremors at around 5:15pm, yesterday.

Members of the Nepal American Medical Foundation visited the Bhutan base camp and offered help.  They also expressed their desire to learn and gain experience from the Bhutanese team, it was posted on the DeSuung page.  The foundation’s team is now based at the district health office, and has started working with the Bhutanese team.  They will assist the Bhutanese team when required.

Members from Handicap International, a French organisation based in Kathmandu, also visited the Bhutan camp to offer assistance.

The team was also visited by officials from the Nepalese central government who were in Nuwakot to assess the overall medical situation.  It was pointed out that the Bhutanese team was very efficient, and that much could be learned from the team, it was reported on the DeSuung page.

Meanwhile, 27 Bhutanese, mostly monks and nuns, who were evacuated from Kathmandu by bus at around 7am, had reached the Nepal-India border at 10pm yesterday, and had already boarded buses to Bhutan, at the time of writing this article.

The death toll from the 7.9 Richter earthquake stood at 7,250 yesterday, with more than 14,000 injured.  However, the death toll is expected to rise, with some villages yet to be reached, according to international media.

 

By Gyalsten K Dorji

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