(updated June 29)
Handicap International’s Nepal team includes more than 100 Nepalese staff, and 19 expatriates. We are continuing to expand our teams in Nepal. Our development activities are gradually resuming, and some members of our emergency teams are returning to these activities.
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Staff updates on April 30
Care for the Injured
Bérangère Gohy, a Belgian physical therapist working for Handicap International, describes the situation in Kathmandu: “We are currently working in four hospitals in Kathmandu, caring for the injured and distributing wheelchairs and crutches, and we are beginning to provide physical therapy, which people need as soon as possible after their operations. We’re also preparing to transport patients with the most serious injuries to specialist centers. My colleagues are also working actively to extend our operations to areas which are more difficult to access and where people’s needs are far from being met.”
Type of Injuries
“Our teams have reported different types of injuries to those we’ve seen in the Haiti, China, and Pakistan earthquakes,” says Eric Weerts, a Belgian emergency rehabilitation specialist working for Handicap International. “Construction practices have a lot to do with this: buildings in Nepal use a lot less reinforced concrete, which means much fewer people are suffering from crushed limbs that require amputations.”
Arrival of First Emergency Supplies
A humanitarian cargo plane containing some of the emergency supplies sent by Handicap International to Nepal arrived at Kathmandu airport on Tuesday morning. The organization’s logistics experts were ready to receive the tents, medical kits, and other supplies which will now be used as part of our operations in the areas closest to the earthquake’s epicenter.
Arrival of Second Support Team
After leaving Paris on Monday, the second support team sent by Handicap International to Nepal landed in Kathmandu on Thursday after being delayed in Abu Dhabi for 48 hours.
On Saturday, April 25, Handicap International Nepal's country director provided this report
“A state of emergency was declared by the government, which calls for international help,” explains Sarah Blin, HI Nepal Program Director. “Here (in Kathmandu), the earthquake was very impressive, and the earth is still shaking. Many buildings are collapsed, especially outside of Kathmandu. The population is shocked. They rushed outside and are sheltering in evacuation centers. The hospitals are overcrowded, and there is a lack of medical staff and material. Roads are blocked, communications are interrupted, and the situation is especially problematic for the people living in remote villages.
“Our team is in a good health. We have already distributed wheelchairs in Kathmandu’s two main hospitals. We are evaluating the need for a larger emergency response, preparing our teams here in Kathmandu and those located abroad.”