"Each of you must make up your own mind about how much to give. But don't feel sorry that you must give and don't feel that you are forced to give. God loves people who love to give." -2 Corinthians 9:7
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While infections from Covid-19 rise rapidly in Nepal and circle in on our hospitals, Tansen and Okhaldhunga continue to serve the sick in their districts and beyond. Recently there have been many patients with serious or life-threatening conditions. If we weren’t open, they would likely have died.
The patients coming during our ongoing lockdown have often had to travel for hours or days to reach us, because public transport is banned, private travel severely restricted and even ambulances are often refusing to collect sick people or are charging exorbitant fees. This means that people’s condition has usually become more serious by the time they reach us.
Today we launch our latest video – Operation Tansen. You can meet the surgical team who have battled their personal fears, continuing to treat patients with severe conditions who have travelled for hours or even days to reach us. You can also read stories of three other staff members – Krishna, Punam and Dr Bikash - who have been involved in Covid-19 preparations, precautionary measures and treating potential cases.
But the virus is only just reaching us… This week Tansen hospital has received our first confirmed cases of Covid-19. As we write, five recent returnees from India who currently have mild symptoms have been transferred to us, to stay in a specially prepared isolation area near our hospital but cared for by our staff. Two patients with symptoms (also returnees) await test results while being cared for in our isolation beds. Thousands of Nepalis have returned from migrant labour in India in the last few days, without adequate quarantine available and overwhelming testing facilities. We expect to see many more infected people reach our hospitals in the coming weeks, especially to Tansen which is nearer the border with India.
Thank you so much for donating to the Save our Hospitals appeal, sharing it and praying for UMN, our hospitals and Nepal. We are so grateful to have received at least USD 234,000 so far! This is however still less than our shortfall in the first month of lockdown…
The impact of the financial shock continues. While Tansen’s outpatient numbers are picking up now, they are still one third lower than usual. From mid-May, dozens of staff have had to start intermittent furlough on 50% pay (see the Operation Tansen video). A tough situation for them and the hospital.
Looking to the future and estimating budgets against scenarios of increased coronavirus cases and the impact of lockdowns, UMN estimates a USD 1.5 million shortfall over one year. The threat to the hospitals has not gone away. Will you stand with us in prayer and perhaps regular giving, for a year? Could you invite your friends, church or group to stand with us?