“The call came into Dilidai, our ambulance driver,” writes Nyaya Health’s Duncan Maru. “A man from a village about six hours away from Nyaya’s hospital in Achham had been bitten by a bear while collecting wood.”
“His leg had a large gaping wound – he needed to be seen by a doctor as soon as possible.”
“Nyaya Health’s Dr. Bikash Gauchan drove down to the village to assess… [eventually] transporting him back to the hospital.”
After nearly 5 weeks in the hospital, Ganesh Sunar left Nyaya’s Bayalpata Hospital and headed home. Though the hospital’s staff would like to follow up on Ganesh’s case, they have not seen him since he left the facility.
"We accomplished an extraordinary amount during the five weeks that we treated him, and indeed, if it were not for the persistent work of our staff, he might not have lived, and certainly would never have walked again,” says Dan Schwarz, Executive Director of Nyaya Health. “Nonetheless, he managed to walk home, with the help of his two friends, through six hours of mountain jungles, to his village. That alone is an incredible victory for us.”
“Unfortunately, since then, we have not seen him again,” continues Dan. “Given the distance through the mountains to his village, he is not likely to return any time soon, and sadly, he lives outside the catchment area of our community health workers (CHWs).”
“We are working to extend our CHW networks, but over 75 percent of our patients live outside these areas. Due to the near-complete lack of other health facilities in the region, many of our patients walk over two days each way just to reach our hospital. At least for the present, our ability to cover all that area with CHWs is very limited.”
“In the future, we will continue to expand our CHWs' catchment area, and also hope to start working directly with the government Health Posts very soon, in order to strengthen them and ensure a minimum package of services and proper staffing.”
“Over time, we will be able to slowly improve not only access to care, but quality of care,” says Dan. “For Mr. Sunar, that will mean not having to walk hours through the mountains to have his leg repaired, and also the assurance that when he does get to a facility (our hospital or the area health posts), he will get the high quality care that he deserves."
Established in 2005, Nyaya Health works with the Nepali Ministry of Health and Population to develop health care services in the impoverished western regions of the country. Working to advance the solidarity model of Partners In Health, Nyaya aims to scale-up not only medical services, but also services targeting other population-level interventions.
Nyaya is one of PIH’s six supported projects, each dedicated to implementing the organization's philosophy on a global scale by working with local communities and governments to create change.