The Nepal Outreach trip was held from 5-9 January 2020 for 14 students ranging from years 3 to 5, organised in conjunction with Karuna Medical International, with our head doctor, Dr Fong, from Singapore and a team of other volunteers. The main clinic site was located in a monastery in Namobuddha, a rural area 2 hours from Kathmandu. We ran a clinic for two days, and undertook specific clinical tasks like blood pressure and glucometer monitoring, triage, surgical assistance / observation, dispensing medication and distributing glasses. More senior students were also able to run clinics on their own, taking histories, performing examinations and prescribing medication under light supervision from the nurses who were volunteers.
While clinics only lasted two days, we had a lot of time to explore Kathmandu and try lots of Nepalese food and shop in the streets of Thamel. Some of us even extended our trip in order to embark on a 4 day guided hike to Mardi Himal, in the beautiful Annapurna Ranges of Nepal. It was probably the most exhausting experience of our lives but one that we will never forget ☺
In the future, our trips to Nepal will not longer be held at Namobuddha, where it has been held for many years. As we work with our organisation and Dr Fong to scout for a new site, we hope to increase the clinic days to a minimum of 4 in order to maximise our clinical experience and our reach to the local community. Ideally, we would also have a good mix of clinical and pre-clinical students and be able to have translators so that we can have the close patient interaction we did.
Overall, it was a fun and enriching trip ☺