KATHMANDU, July 7: Ambassador of Australia to Nepal Felicity Volk on Tuesday handed over medical equipment worth AUD 45,450 (approximately Rs 4.1 million ) to Professor Dr Dibya Singh Shah, Dean of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) and Dr Samarika Dahal at the Forensic Department of TUTH.
The equipment – an ultrasound machine and a portable dental x-ray machine – were funded under the Australia Awards Alumni Grants Program to support the work of two Australian university alumni – Professor Dr Shah and Dr. Dahal.
According to the Embassy of Australia in Kathmandu, the x-ray machine will be used in forensic odontology services in Nepal and will expand the disaster victim identification services provided by the Forensic Department at TUTH. Dr Dahal is pioneer in the field of forensic odontology and received the alumni grant in recognition of her strong commitment to advocacy for improved health services in Nepal and for her active engagement in the Australia Awards Women in Leadership Network (WIL) in Nepal.
The ultrasound machine is being provided as an alumni grant to Professor Dr Shah, Dean, IOM, in recognition of her leadership in the field of nephrology and transplant services in Nepal, the embassy said in a press statement.
“The Australian Government is committed to supporting health security under our Nepal COVID-19 Development Response Plan. The plan focuses on assistance for the most vulnerable and, as Nepal manages multiple challenges simultaneously, the needs of vulnerable communities are more evident than ever,” the statement quoted Ambassador Volk as saying after handing over the equipment.
“In recent months, we have seen health systems under immense strain; I can only imagine how difficult and stressful it must be for Nepal’s health professionals,” she further said. “I hope that the contribution of equipment under the Australia Awards Alumni grant program will provide support to Nepal’s health system and be a reminder of a friendship where Nepal and Australia have supported each other across many decades.”