Update on Lalgadh 22nd May 2020

Dr Clugston recently shared the following items, which give a sense of the current situation at our leprosy hospital in Lalgadh:

  • “We are all relieved and thankful that in this COVID-19 and lockdown time, when income has been severely cut, some funds are coming in. Help has come from ALM and generous friends in the Church of Scotland in Geneva and from Emmanuel Church in Geneva. [We can add to that the friends in UK who have been sending gifts at this difficult time – thank you so much].
  • It was International Nurses Day on Tuesday 12 May… Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday. The nursing staff had a party in IPD

    Celebrating Nurses Day
  • The cleaning/disinfecting and whitewashing all the wards has just about been completed. Beds are being progressively de-rusted and painted too. We still need to replace about 20 rusty bed-side lockers… when the lockdown is lifted.
  • Painting of murals on the panels of the devotions/recreation room has been completed yesterday – thus completing the picturesque painting of the IPD school room & devotion/recreation room 
  • Laboratory modifications continuing – new washbasin installed in the new section of the Lab. Next a glass partition and sliding door will separate the microbiology section – so we can set up bacterial culture and sensitivity equipment.
  • I mentioned the increased strict lock-down here – Lalgadh Village is now quite “sealed-off” by the police –
    Some more PPE arrives

    though in practice it is not. Our daily patient numbers  – which were increasing – took a plunge after a Corona-19 positive lady and family arrived with numbers of police at the LLHSC gates. She lives in Lalgadh village. Even with the lockdown we are of course still getting urgent cases  – (leprosy and emergency and urgent cases – eg we got 2 burns cases and a fracture and a kidney injury in yesterday evening) and staff and essential folks come and go through the hospital gates. The poor lady was taken to Janakpur for testing and isolation. Her 18-month baby and husband are here in our Quarantine Unit here. COVID-19 casenumbers are now climbing upwards across Nepal – only apparent now because (a) massive influx of Nepalis returning from India and overseas and (b) testing, which was largely non-existent, is now taking off in various centres – although results are variable as in some centres the staff are inexperienced, or they have not got the chemicals. We are all aware the COVID-19 cases are around us here at LLHSC and in Dhanusha,… but we are being extra careful. There is considerable community fear around, and some of our staff are nervous and reluctant and need encouragement. All this keeps us on our toes. The Good Lord is looking after us all here.

    Fever Clinic
  • We got a few more PPEs in – got 3 sets donated from the Province, but then they used one of those when the guy came to take a swab from the Covid +ve lady. We bought some – Suman got them for a reasonable price – but now prices are rising again. Did a stock-taking of PPEs yesterday – So we have now got in hand – 9 compete PPE sets, plus 150 N-95 masks, 3,850 surgical masks, 37 gowns, 3,550 surgical gloves, 48 goggles, 120 caps, 18.5 litres hand-sanitizer, etc  etc. It’s OK for right now, but inadequate if/when we get hit with a lot of COVID-19 cases in the community around LLHSC, or when we get any asymptomatic cases coming in.   
  • This (Friday) morning I took the nursing staff through oxygen
    Checking Oxygen Equipment

    equipment and oxygen management  – making sure equipment is ready and working and that they are all familiar with using the oxygen cylinders, ambu bags, connecters, mouth pieces, nasal flow tubes, etc .

Dr Krishna and Suman are both very busy. Things are a bit difficult here due to the strict lockdown. The vegetable man came to the hospital gate early this-morning. He is now not permitted to come in. We all alerted each-other and went to the gate and got quantities of potatoes and chilis and tomatoes et. He warned us that he may not be able to come here any more for while as the police are stopping him. He suggested we may all have to eat whatever stocks we have in hand at the moment. I don’t know how that will work (of course it won’t) for the hospital patients. We’ll need to sort that out with the Municipal authorities. The lockdown is tight. Shops at the bottom of our hill all closed. The road to the church blocked.”

Please do keep praying for our staff and the people who need medical help and food in these difficult times.

Many thanks