During Michael Daube’s visit to Nepal in January 2012, we discussed Citta’s projects in Nepal and India in the health and education sectors. Since both projects have the same mission, the necessity to meet, and study and share the experiences between the teams is important.
After requesting that Michael make arrangements for the Citta Nepal team to visit the project in Odisha. Dr. Yeshe Lodoe Lama, President/ Medical Director and Sanjeev KC, Managing Director of Citta Nepal, planned the visit.
The main objective of the visit was to learn more about the Odisha project and share experiences and information between Citta’s two project sites in India and Nepal.
The trip was planned for April 10-19, 2012 and on April 10, We flew on Indian Airlines to Calcutta. The journey was exciting as we were getting the opportunity, for the first time since the establishment of the organization, to visit the Citta site in India. Indeed, Sanjeev was even more excited as this was his first visit to India and his first train ride as well.
After one night’s stay in Calcutta, we headed to Bhubaneswar the next evening on an eight-hour train journey. Govinda met us in Bhubaneswar and it was great sightseeing on our way to Juanga.
Major Observations :
In spite of the poor living standards similar to those in Humla, Odisha has an advantage— easy access via a road. Because of this, more doctors and surgeons have been attracted to provide services to the Odisha project. We met the entire Odisha team and shared our activities. Govinda is doing a great job overseeing all of the project’s activities almost full time. Manu and Sarat are two nice guys, energetic and dedicated to helping Govinda maintain the project. They are doing a great job! We were impressed at the efficiency of the OT and the surgical patients who have been successfully helped. This was one of the purposes of our visit—to learn more about how the OT is functioning in Odisha. It was found to be more efficient with respect to the equipment and instruments provided as well as the surgeries scheduled on a regular basis.
In comparison to Odisha, Humla has the advantage of more space in our OT, postoperative room and surgical ward. Patients and attendants are getting quick service from two private pharmacies near the hospital’s premises. Even a small lab and the housekeeping staff are doing a good job, too.
Staff quarters are perfect with adequate space but we need to make these operational soon so as to attract more doctors and health care professionals.
Technical Discussion with the Doctors:
Dr. Yeshe and the duty doctors shared their experiences on the most common cases, treatment patterns, medicines prescribed, and much more. Dr. Yeshe suggested using coding for the various diseases and recording the information about each patient and their particular illness. This information would help us generate statistics for patients and diseases in the area. Sanjeev has discussed with Manu the various managerial aspects of bookkeeping, accounting and tracking records and reports. He has advised Manu to slightly change the budget format by using appropriate headings such as Operational Cost and Capital Cost.
Most of the progress in the projects was encouraging except for frequent power outages and lack of adequate space and proper layout.
More services could be rendered, if we can come up with the following:
1. X- ray and ultrasound machines
2. Separate birthing/ delivery room
3. New budget format on Google docs with proper budget headings
4. IEC materials for health awareness
5. Patient bus
Govinda also took us to the school but unfortunately we could not meet the teachers and students as it was a public holiday. We were amazed to see the newly painted Jonathan Sheffer High School and the positive results of the latest student exam.
Moreover, the school’s provision of tiffin or lunch is really encouraging the students to attend regularly. We gained a lot of information on the project and its management, and our visit has provided us a great opportunity to bring the Odisha and Humla teams together under one umbrella. After the school visit, we headed to Puri to visit Jagannath Temple and the beach and we really enjoyed this. After spending two days there, we retuned to Calcutta and did a bit of sightseeing there before returning to Kathmandu on the 19th.