Nepal - IOM has helped 154 Nepali earthquake survivors discharged from hospitals since May 10th under its Assisted Discharge and Referrals (ADR) program.
IOM Nepal's ADR program helps earthquake victims discharged from hospital. © IOM 2015
The program aims to ensure access to medical care, follow–up rehabilitation services and safe, dignified discharge for vulnerable internally displaced people in earthquake-affected areas.
A major 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on April 25th killing over 8,800 people and injuring over 23,000. A second 7.3 magnitude quake on May 12 left another 156 dead and 3,215 injured.
Growing numbers of patients are now medically ready for hospital discharge, but unable to leave hospital wards because they are homeless, lack transport to their preferred communities and are unable to get medical follow-up after they leave hospital.
By providing coordinated referrals, transport and assisted discharge, IOM decongests overloaded hospitals, allows patients to access the medical care that they need, ensures links with follow up and community services, and makes sure that patients can safely return to their homes, preferred communities or places of temporary shelter.
The program also helps patients to map their needs and identify where they want to settle down to rebuild their lives.
The upcoming monsoon season which is expected to arrive in southeastern Nepal around 5 June and to spread westward across the country by 20 June, is prompting growing public health concerns in earthquake-affected areas. They include the plight of tuberculosis (TB) patients.
“We urgently need to address living conditions of TB patients in temporary shelters and increase access to infection control measures and Directly Observed Treatments (DOTS), as well as providing psychosocial support to minimize stigma,” said IOM Emergency Health Team Leader Kristin Parco.
Health measures to help Nepal earthquake victims are still desperately under-funded. To date the Health Cluster has only received 21 per cent of the USD 41 million it requested as part of the UN’s USD 423 million Flash Appeal.