Nepal earthquake: medical services stretched to breaking point

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With officials reporting on Tuesday that the number injured in Saturday’s earthquake continues to rise, medical services in Nepal – one of the poorest countries in the world – are being stretched to breaking point.

Doctors have been working around the clock and out of makeshift tents to treat the injured, but it’s simply not enough. More medical support is desperately needed.

We’re helping answer that need. Save the Children is managing a UK Emergency Medical Team* of eight specialists deployed to Nepal to assess needs and to support local medical staff by providing surgery to those who need it most.

It’s the first specialist medical team from the UK to deploy to Kathmandu following the earthquake.

Worrying reports

The team, funded by the UK Department for International Development, includes an emergency physician, an anaesthetist, a paramedic, a rehabilitation adviser and a medical logistics manager.

Save the Children’s Rob Holden, who is leading the team, says: “We are hearing a lot of reports from the ground that there are thousands of survivors with trauma injuries who urgently need surgery – worryingly this includes the most vulnerable of society such as women and children.

“This massive earthquake has stretched medical services in an already impoverished nation to breaking point – doctors have been forced to operate around the clock and often in makeshift hospitals made of tents.

“It’s simply not enough so we are keen to get on the ground and help to support them by providing surgery to those who need it most, especially women and children.”

More UK medics are expected to arrive in country to bolster the team in the coming days.

Please help our response to the needs of children and families in Nepal:

Donate now to our Nepal Earthquake Appeal

*The UK Emergency Medical Team is funded by DFID and managed by Save the Children in partnership with UK Med and Handicap International. It is the lead UK medical response after natural disasters.