On May 15, we had a fundraiser for the earthquake crisis in Nepal.
There were two aspects to our appeal on behalf of Nepal. The first was the Fundraiser in Saskatoon. The response exceeded our expectations. This is not surprising considering the generous nature of the people of our city. The evening was sold out. Revenue from ticket sales and donations amounted to $17,426. A further $19,035 was contributed by our regular EHA donors. The total was $36,461. This amount has already been transmitted to aid in the relief effort.
The Nepal earthquake was devastating for a number of reasons. First was the sheer magnitude (7.8 and 7.4) compounded by over 100 after shocks. Its shallow nature resulted in a large area being affected. Access to remote villages was difficult due to very few roads, the mountainous terrain and landslides. The only airport into Nepal, Kathmandu is small and was clogged delaying the arrival of personnel and supplies. Bureaucratic difficulty added to the tragedy. Despite this, aid agencies have provided yeoman services to help the helpless. Two days ago we received a summary regarding EHA’s activities to date:
- 4 teams of doctors and nurses deployed at various times since April 25
- 3821 patients treated
- 205 surgical procedures
- 72 hospital admissions
- Approximately Rs.1 Million worth of medicines handed out
- Dry food rations and water purification tablets distributed
- 55 meters of plastic sheeting provided
- 5000 tarpaulins, some already delivered
Psycho social care:
- 62 volunteer counsellors were trained and will provide care for 5000 victims
Tragedies such as this have ongoing consequences and needs. EHA has traditionally stayed on to address some of these. The Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) of EHA has identified the following as Emerging Needs and is already addressing some of them:
- Surveillance for epidemic diseases, especially Cholera
- Preparing community based first responders
- Building local capacity to help in disasters
- Training health personnel in disaster preparedness.