More recognition! This time it’s Keshab

Well, WHO must have been quite busy talking it up with the key team members of SIRC during their recent visits to the facility!

This is another write-up detailing the work of  Keshab Prasad Sitaula.  He heads the Occupational Therapy (OT) team at SIRC and was one of the first from SIRC to descend on the hospitals throughout the Kathmandu Valley, training staff and family members on the importance of safely turning SCI patients regularly to avoid pressure sores, as well as the proper use of catheters amongst other guidance.  And of course facilitating their transfer to the SIRC facility.

Well done Keshab and SIRC!

Keshab in the OT department of SIRC.  Check out the display behind him showing us how many of the things we use daily, have been adapted for SCI patients.  Photo credit WHO.

Keshab in the OT department of SIRC. Check out the display behind him showing us how many of the things we use daily, have been adapted for SCI patients. Photo credit WHO.

The following is from the WHO website:

“Since Nepal’s 25 April and 12 May earthquakes, Keshab Prasad Sitaula has been a busy man.

The thirty-three-year-old occupational therapist, who has been working at the purpose-built Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) since 2002, says that immediately after the first quake he provided vital support to those presenting with spinal injuries at Kathmandu’s major hospitals.

“I was at Bir Trauma Center for around two weeks teaching people with SCI and their family members how to use spinal braces, how to prevent pressure sores – and how to manage their bladder and other things,” he said. “At that time I also trained the nurses there.” This intervention saved lives and helped to develop effective referral pathways between the major hospitals and SIRC.

Now back at SIRC, Sitaula is working tirelessly to rehabilitate the many patients in his care. In order to meet the post-quake need for specialized rehabilitation services, SIRC is willing to expand its capacity by four times. The WHO in coordination with Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) has designated the facility a key part of Nepal’s post-acute rehabilitation and ‘step down’ process to meet the rehabilitation needs of the injured.

According to Dipesh Pradhan, SIRC’s Director of Administration, despite being a non-profit facility the center has worked closely with health care partners to provide quality services to those in need.

“We are a member of the WHO-coordinated rehabilitation sub-cluster and are a focal point for spinal care issues,” he said. “The MoHP has been supporting us since the first day and has been sending the message to all government and private hospitals that those with spinal cord injuries should be referred to us. We feel very proud to be a partner of the MoHP.”

Sitaula is unlikely to get a break from his hectic schedule anytime soon, but that does not affect his dedication. From the expansive rehab therapy room he manages, Sitaula affirmed his commitment to providing the best long-term care possible to his countrymen and women: “We are ready,” he said.”

About Kate Coffey

After 30 or so years in the investment management industry, 2013 saw me turn my life up-side-down, making my way first to Nepal, then Bangladesh during that first ‘year away’. The year took me on a journey I did not expect, had me fall in love with Nepal and its people, and become inspired at the work of Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) located in Bhainsepati - 2 hours east of Kathmandu in the Saanga foothills. Since 2014, I have returned to SIRC numerous times, working closely with the folks there in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes. In Bangladesh I marvelled at the strength and resilience of marginalized women who have the courage and audacity to break the rules and make a better life for themselves and their children through microfinance programs with BRAC. 2016-2017 saw me embark on a totally new experience in Sri Lanka, a place I never would have chosen to end up in. It’s the 40C+ heat, big humidity and tropical snakes & animals that scared me! But I ended up love love loving! my time there, working with predominantly Tamil small business owners in remote villages in north and east of the country, trying their best to recover their businesses and the lives of their employees, after decades of a civil war. My time in Sri Lanka made me realize my hard-earned business skills and experience can really be put to good use! The work the BIZ+ team and I did there ended up earning me International Volunteer of the Year Award in December 2017, presented on Capitol Hill, Washington DC no less. I am currently home on Bowen Island, in the west coast of Canada, shoring up my finances before I head off to who knows where, for my next expert volunteer assignment. This blog initially started out as a travelogue of sorts to keep friends and family worldwide updated while I was off on my travels in 2013-2014. Since then it has morphed into a life story of the many places I have lived and worked and of the wonderful people I have met along the way. I hope you enjoy.
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