The Oda Foundation

EMPOWERING COMMUNITIES IN NEPAL'S REMOTE REGIONS THROUGH HEALTH AND EDUCATION INITIATIVES

Reflections from Oda

Sarah Wells, Annie Masterson and myself (Tanuja Devaraj) came to Oda, Nepal as part of a global health elective, to complete our four year medical education at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, USA. We had worked with refugees from Nepal in Philadelphia for the past four years providing health care, education and advocacy through a student run organization, Refugee Health Partners. We loved the people from Nepal that we worked with and were eager to see Nepal, come full circle to understanding the culture, background and health challenges of Nepal.

                                                              The path to Oda - more than 2 hours from the nearest road.

                                                              The path to Oda - more than 2 hours from the nearest road.

After almost a year of planning with John via skype, we finally arrived in Oda Naku-2 on April 30th, 2016. John had prepared us for our long journey to one of the most remote regions in Nepal, a 1 hour flight, 9 hour drive and 2 hour trek, but no words could describe the adventure, the adrenalin and out-of-this world scenery we experienced on our journey. 

After almost a year of planning with John via skype, we finally arrived in Oda Naku-2 on April 30th, 2016. John had prepared us for our long journey to one of the most remote regions in Nepal, a 1 hour flight, 9 hour drive and 2 hour trek, but no words could describe the adventure, the adrenalin and out-of-this world scenery we experienced on our journey. 

                                                                                                                                                                            Oda, Nepal!

                                                                                                                                                                            Oda, Nepal!

   

   

We reached Oda and were immediately welcomed into the Oda Family. For the next three weeks we were at home away from home with Karan Singh and John (founders of Oda) going out of their way to ensure our comfort, Tulki Aunty making sure we were well fed, and the entire Oda community including us in their daily lives.

                                          Annie and Sarah with staff children Asuta, Jamuna, and Asmita in the Kitchen!

                                          Annie and Sarah with staff children Asuta, Jamuna, and Asmita in the Kitchen!

We shared family style meals in the dining area, took walks around the village, enjoyed our saturdays bathing and doing laundry riverside and had many memorable playtimes with the kids.

We were also fluidly incorporated into the incredible medical work at Oda by the current staff, two doctors Dr. Mim and Dr. Narendra and one pharmacist Sarita. The medical clinic is a 24/7 urgent care facility with a fully stocked pharmacy, two examination rooms, and four hospital beds for short term admissions.

                                                                                Tanuja and Mim Karki!

                                                                                Tanuja and Mim Karki!

We teamed up Dr.Mim and Dr. Narendra to deliver care to 40-50 patients a day. We took care of a range of clinical presentations from urinary tract infections, lacerations, malnutrition, anemia, gastritis, diarrhea, viral infections, pneumonia to COPD exacerbations. Prior to Oda Foundation, members of Oda and surrounding villages had to travel hours to days on foot to get to the nearest hospital, delaying care and leading to preventable health adversity. With the establishment of Oda Foundation, an infant with pneumonia, a disease that is deadly if not treated early, has timely access to the required antibiotic and a woman with diarrhea which can cause severe ehydration, sepsis and death can now receive the needed IV hydration and IV antibiotics. 

                                                                                                                                     Sarah working in Oda Medical.

                                                                                                                                     Sarah working in Oda Medical.

We were inspired and impressed by the health care that Oda Foundation is accomplishing. The trust the community and patients place in the organization is palpable and the health outcomes have improved significantly. In addition, Oda Foundation goes beyond providing medicine, whether it is providing eggs (beyond the reach of most individuals) to a severely anemic and malnourished patient, providing funds to support more advanced testing and treatment or making home visits to follow up on a severely ill patient.

 

Thank you to the entire Oda Family for inviting us and giving us this incredible opportunity to work at Oda Foundation.