First provincial children’s hospital to come into operation in DamakThe 50-bed hospital is being built by the Kathmandu Institute of Child Health. The health institute plans to operate at least one children’s hospital each in all seven provinces.
Preparations are in full swing to operate a provincial children’s hospital with specialist services in Damak Municipality, Jhapa. The 50-bed hospital is expected to come into operation within two months in the model of a community hospital wherein the hospital will be run by the Kathmandu Institute of Child Health.
Kathmandu Institute of Child Health led by Dr Bhagawan Koirala—a renowned cardiac surgeon and health administrator—is constructing the hospital on the premises of the Damak sub-branch of Nepal Red Cross Society in Damak Municipality-7. The Red Cross has provided its building and other infrastructures built in around seven kathas of land free of cost to operate the hospital.
Damak sub-branch of Nepal Red Cross Society had constructed a four-storey building at the cost of Rs 28.5 million. However, the infrastructure had remained unused for the past nine years.
According to Gita Adhikari, the deputy mayor of Damak Municipality, the under-construction hospital will be the first children’s hospital in Province 1.
“The hospital mainly aims to provide health facilities to children from impoverished communities. Though the hospital has permission to operate 50 beds, infrastructures are being constructed to extend the capacity to at least 100 beds,” said Adhikari.
Kathmandu Institute of Child Health says its plan is to operate at least one children’s hospital each in all seven provinces. The institute has been constructing a 200-bed hospital at Budhanilakantha Municipality-7 in Kathmandu as well. It aims to operate the hospital in Kathmandu within three years.
“We want this hospital to turn into a model hospital for medical practitioners and patients in Province 1,” said Koirala.
“Children with serious illnesses need to be taken to Kathmandu for treatment. But when this hospital comes into operation, ailing children need not be sent elsewhere,” said Prakash Budhathoki, the chairman of Damak sub-branch of Nepal Red Cross Society.
According to him, the outpatient department and pharmacy will be operated from the meeting hall of the Red Cross building while preparations are underway to run the emergency unit and intensive care unit with ventilators.
Damak Municipality also decided to provide financial support to the institute to build the children’s hospital. The municipal council meeting held a few months ago decided to provide Rs2 million to the hospital.
“Such a hospital is necessary for the province. We were excited when Dr Koirala and his team proposed to run the children’s hospital in Damak. The municipality is committed to providing all possible support to the institute to run the hospital,” said Adhikari.
According to her, treatment of various ailments related to heart and kidney among other chronic diseases in children will be available at the children’s hospital. She said other local units and business communities have also started providing support to the hospital.