Red Crosser Diana Coulter is currently in Nepal, where she is sharing updates on how the Canadian Red Cross is providing aid after the recent earthquakes. Here are her previous updates on helping to save lives of mothers and babies in Nepal, and providing a safe play space for children affected by the earthquakes.
 
Kanchi Tamang with her grandchild born in the Canadian Red Cross field hospitalOn a misty, pre-monsoon morning at the Canadian Red Cross field hospital, a colourful line-up is forming of elderly Nepalese women in traditional embroideries and heavy brass earrings, crying children, and a few proud, wiry men.
 
As wisps of cloud literally drift through the hospital high in the mountains, a Nepalese paramedic assesses each patient before referring them to the correct tent: one is the outpatient ward, which handles less serious cases; another offers maternal, newborn and child health care services; and the largest white tent serves as the inpatient ward, where today, almost all of the 10 beds are full.
 
Beside one metal cot, Kanchhi Tamang, pictured left, holds her new baby granddaughter, while her son-in-law carefully feeds spoonfuls of soup to his wife recovering from a Caesarean section delivery. Tamang smiles widely and nods, when asked if she is pleased with the hospital and her new granddaughter.
 
“This is a good place,” she announces firmly.
 
Buddha Maya at the Canadian Red Cross field hospitalAt the end of the row of beds, 73-year-old Buddha Maya, pictured right, lies chatting with her grandson as a nurse checks 
her bandaged ankle and right shin, injured during the earthquakes. Her stone house in the village of Thulogaon collapsed, trapping her under rubble until her grandson, Tara Bhadur, managed to rescue her, he said.
 
Recently, Canadian surgeon Philippe Demers performed two skin grafts on Maya to cover an exposed tendon and help accelerate her healing. Bhadur said his grandmother was evacuated by helicopter to the Canadian Red Cross field hospital in Dhunche. Fifty-four people died in their village.
 
“We are very lucky to have this hospital with all these kind people,” said Bhadur. “If this place was not here, I would have no idea what to do.”
 
In the assessment area of the inpatient ward, Canadian Red Cross delegate Dr. Christine Hwang, from Toronto, examines an older man with a gash on his finger, acquired while cutting bamboo. A blood infection has spread to his armpit.
 
From Haku, a village in a steep hanging valley nearly decimated by the earthquakes, the injured farmer and his family now live in a tent in Dhunche. Hwang admits the injured man to the inpatient ward, where he starts intravenous antibiotics.
 
Next, an older man is admitted due to coughing and vomiting blood. Concerned about the possibility of tuberculosis, hospital staff members quickly don masks to examine him.
 
Next door, in the outpatient tent, people with less serious ailments are examined by Dr. Jenny Chu, a doctor and Hong Kong Red Cross Society delegate working in partnership with the Canadian field hospital.
 
A man arrives from Ramche village, an hour’s drive from Dhunche, to ask Chu to examine a large spongy growth on the side of his face. Chu calls Demers, the surgeon, who offers to remove the unsightly mass in the next few days if the man is willing. Looking nervous, the man says he will consult his son first.
 
A constant stream of patients file in and out of the Canadian Red Cross tents as the morning progresses while more people arrive and wait patiently for their turn to see the doctors.
 
Hwang says there is immense satisfaction in treating people at the field hospital.
“I think I am making a difference in the lives of these people. In some cases, I am giving treatment that is possibly lifesaving. And really, that is why we are here.”
 
Canadians are encouraged to donate to the Nepal Region Earthquake Fund.