Gift of the Givers to partner with hospital near Kathmandu

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April 30, 2015 - Gift of the Givers rescue workers discuss logistics with local operations control in Kathmandu, Nepal. The team is in the Himalayan country to respond to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake which hit the country on Saturday, April 25, 2015.

KATHMANDU – South African disaster relief organisation Gift of the Givers is partnering with a hospital in Kirtipur, 5km from Nepal&39;s capital, Kathmandu, from today.

This follows the 7.8 magnitude earthquake which struck Nepal on April 25. The death toll has already exceeded 5,000 and continues to rise daily.

The Gift of the Givers search and rescue team arrived in Nepal on Wednesday. A team of 33 medical specialists arrived on Friday.

The hospital has a backlog of 26 surgical cases and the South African medical specialists will be working with the hospital staff to help ease the burden.

The hospital specialises in plastic surgery, obstetrics and burn wounds, but will set up an orthopaedic surgery section due to high demand.

Gift of the Givers medical team leader Dr Qasim Bhorat says work will start immediately.

“Four orthopaedic surgeries have been booked in for Thursday,” he said.

The hospital has 100 beds and has a different ethos, says Bhorat. “They have opened their doors and are treating people free of charge.

“The hospital wants every South African orthopaedic surgeon (to) be accompanied by a local doctor to ensure continuity of treatment and for skills transfer,” said Bhorat.

The South African doctors have also offered to work with other hospitals in need, as well as set up outreach facilities in crisis areas.