One month has past since the devastating April 25 earthquake in Nepal, Cities lie in ruin and the number of victims has surpassed 8,600. Anxiety remains fixed on faces, since the country continues to experience aftershocks.
On the night of May 12, the same night a severe aftershock hit the nation, 49 members of the Henry Reeve International Contingent Specialized in Disasters and Large Epidemics Brigade No.41 arrived in Katmandu.
“The landscape was disheartening, Dantesque, I would say. The country didn’t need nature to punish it this way. Those who managed to save their lives in the most affected areas have lost practically everything, including their most cherished loved ones,” Dr. Luis Orlando Oliveros Serrano, head of the Brigade, told Granma.
The day after setting foot in Nepal, the Cuban medical brigade moved quickly to the area occupied by the National Center for the Study of Ayurvedic Medicine, as directed by the country’s Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization, in accordance with plans made by the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ advance team.
The brigade immediately set up a field hospital, which Dr. Oliveros described, “This center adjacent to a hospital has a capacity of 20 beds and excellent anti-seismic properties. We have installed all the equipment we brought from Cuba. Since the 18th, we have been offering all of the services for which the brigade is prepared: an operating room, an intensive care ward, x-rays, ultra-sound, a laboratory, sterilization facilities, a pharmacy, rehabilitation and out-patient consultations.”
Additionally, he reported, the brigade is offering primary care in areas severely damaged around Katmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur, with teams of comprehensive family doctors and specialists traveling to communities where they have treated more than 2,000 patients.
While tragedy continues to walk the streets in, hope is also present, in many cases in the form of a white coat. Dr. Oliberos comments, “Everyday we very humbly receive de
monstrations of gratitude, as shown by the very behavior of our brigade.”