In Baglung, a city with the total population of 50 000 people, 275 km west of Kathmandu and elevation 1020 m you find Dhaulagiri Zonal Hospital. Surrounded by mountains in three directions, waterfalls and forests, the city is a perfect place to go trekking. The Kalika temple, one of the most famous temples in Nepal is also placed in Baglung.
After telling some facts about the place, it is time to tell about my stay. For one month I will stay in Baglung together with my hospital partner, Katrine. A welcoming family is running the guest house we stay at. Despite staying at a guest house, the feeling of being a guest is not there, because of the friendly and including family.
Every morning, we go to the hospital, which is five minutes away from the guest house. There our main task is to repair medical equipment. Well, what we have done is several other things. Because the hospital receive a great amount of money each year from the government, and gets several donations, most of the medical equipment is quite new and in good order. In addition, there are extra machines working good, which are backups. Therefore, there are not a lot to repair at the hospital.
After a tour at the hospital the first days, Katrine and I noticed that the wheel chairs were in bad order. With help from the technician at the hospital and extra supplies from the local bike shop, we fixed the wheelchairs. Because there are no workshop for the technician(s) at the hospital, we created our “mini wheelchair workshop” in the corridor next to the blood analysis lab. Because many people pass the corridor, we got a small crowd with curious people. Some tried to help us, and some were interested to know what we were doing.
The hospital are different to what you see in Norway. First of all, the nepali people are different. Saying “namaste” to everyone they meet with a big smile they make you feel good and smiling. Second of all, the hospital facilities are not that good. The patients have minimal privacy. Rooms are filled with beds, with no curtains or walls between them. The hygiene is not the same, the working pace are slower, and the “nepali time” is the reality.
Our next project is to get to know the different departments better, and see what we can help them with. We have to be creative, but we are positive and sure that we can help the hospital the remaining three weeks of our stay. It is exciting to be a part of the hospital and helping out. I look forward to the rest of my stay in Baglung!
//Marie Langnes Bakke