Finnish Red Cross sends two mobile clinics to Nepal

Minna Passi
The mobile clinics of the Finnish Red Cross leave for Nepal on 29 May. The last Finnish Red Cross aid flight arrived in Kathmandu in May.
Image: Minna Passi

The need for help is still great in Nepal, particularly in the remote areas. The mobile clinics of the Finnish Red Cross will be located in the badly damaged Dolakha district that lost half of its healthcare clinics in the earthquakes.

The Finnish Red Cross sends two mobile clinics to earthquake-ravaged Nepal. The clinics will bring help to even the most remote areas where the healthcare system has suffered significant damages. Both clinics will be joined by staff, including a physician, a nurse, a midwife, and a technician. In total, 12 new aid workers will go to Nepal.

The plane carrying the clinics and the aid workers left on Friday, 29 May, from the Tampere-Pirkkala Airport.

“Help is needed particularly in basic healthcare, in areas such as respiratory infections, diarrhoea diseases, children’s diseases, maternity care, and childbirths. There may still be some earthquake-caused bone fractures requiring medical attention, but urgent cases have mainly been taken care of,” says Tiina Saarikoski, healthcare designer for the Finnish Red Cross.

Thousands of people died and hundreds of thousands of houses were destroyed or damaged in the earthquake on 25 April. The new extensive earthquake on 12 May made the damages worse. The clinics of the Finnish Red Cross are a part of a larger aid operation by the International Red Cross, during which aid supplies, tents, and tarpaulins have been distributed to more than 225,000 people. The objective is to help 700,000 people in total, and the emergency appeal has been extended to 90 million euros.

The mobile clinics from Finland go to the badly damaged Dolakha district

The mobile clinics from Finland will be a part of the permanent healthcare clinic established by the German and French Red Cross societies. The permanent healthcare clinic has an operating theatre and a labour ward, and most of the supplies in the clinic come from Finland. The technological experts from the Finnish Red Cross build and maintain the clinic.

The healthcare clinic will be located in the damaged Dolakha district, close to the epicentre of the second earthquake. The mobile clinics will operate in very challenging conditions near Mount Everest. The mountainous terrain, landslides, and the approaching monsoon make aid work even more difficult than before.

The clinics are intended to operate until the end of September.

“As the information from the remote areas in Dolakha has become more specified, the health authorities have asked for more support for the local healthcare system. Many international groups are about to leave the country, and the Red Cross is a natural long-term partner,” says Andreas von Weissenberg, head of international disaster aid.

The Finnish Red Cross has collected 1.4 million euros for Nepal so far. The earthquake destroyed the livelihood of many people, in addition to their houses, and the need for help is still great.