Kanti Children Hospital, the only national referral and governmental children hospital in Nepal, has been working with the Alder Hey hospital, UK since 1994 in a variety of different health areas. In 2010 the link was awarded funding to embark on a new project in response to the urgent need to improve paediatric burn units in the country.

Improving Nepal’s situation on helping child burn victims

Kanti Children Hospital’s burns unit forms part of its paediatric surgery with a total of only 22 beds. 350-400 burns related patients are admitted to the hospital every year.

According to Dr. R Chaudhary, the Nepalese coordinator for the project, none of the staff working on the burn unit had been previously trained and therefore had very little knowledge about early splinting, adequate analgesia, and early surgical correction. This had increased in post burn contracture, poor pain control, and late surgical intervention.

When the project started, members of the visiting Alder Hey team provided training to the Kanti staff on burn care. Sessions included training on better pain control methods, early splinting, and early mobilisation of patients, better dressing and early surgical intervention. Discussions of best practice in burns and formulation of burn care protocols for Kanti Children Hospital were also developed. A surgical camp was also conducted twice in coordination with the partner hospital at Kanti Children’s Hospital. This gave practical experience of various burn related cases to Nepalese doctors, nurses and physiotherapists.

Making a difference

Achievements of the projects include the high motivation of Kanti staff to learn from the training, an increase in the comfort of patients once training skills had been applied, and better surgical outcomes because of early surgical interventions. The success of the link has also led to a relationship being formed with international health organisation, Interburns, which they hope will develop as the link progresses.

The Link’s advice for future partnerships

According to Dr. Chaudhary, this project is one of the most successful projects within the Kanti Children Hospital. He attributes much of this success to a good level of coordination with the partner hospital. His advice for future partnerships would be to ensure coordination between partners is regular, that proper budget and activity planning takes place, and that the problems associated within the health sector are researched in detail prior to embarking on the project.

IHLFS Team, British Council Nepal