Dermatology Patient Care in Rural Nepal: Reaching the Unreachable
Dr. Sabina Bhattarai
The project is run by the non-profit organization “Ek Ek Paila”. This NGO was created after the 2015 earthquake; its aim is to provide free medical services on a regular basis to areas devastated by the earthquake. As no dermatologists were working in any of the areas first visited, this health care initiative now brings screening, identification and treatment of patients with skin diseases responsible for social stigmatization.
Dr. Bhattarai leads the dermatological team who carry out the following:
– Skin consultation and treatment
– Education and preventive measures
– Follow-on care for patients
A mobile unit was designed to record clinical details including photographic evidence of the patient’s condition. This application was used for patient registration with an unique ID number and for medical data and prescription recording. This unique ID number allows later exchanges between the local rural clinic and the specialist in the city hospital.
Since the start of the project in 2015, 1,575 patients have been treated for the following dermatological conditions, including photodermatosis, eczema, lichen, scabies, fungal infection, vitiligo, and leprosy.
With the grant, the awardee would like to organize three additional health care camps based in the remotest regions of Nepal and to work on educational material in order to instruct people on various preventive aspects like simple skin, nail and hair care regimes.