Quake-injured languishing under govt neglect

Published On: June 7, 2018 06:52 AM NPT By: Sarita Shrestha

DHADING, June 7: Khomaya Tamang’s home in Gangajamuna Rural Municipality of Dhading district was destroyed by the 2015 earthquake. Along with the damage to her house, she also had her right arm fractured. She lay injured in a field for four days until a rescue helicopter arrived and carried her to the District Hospital in Dhandingbesi. 

Since the hospital was teeming with quake victims, she was given a general treatment considering her case as a minor fracture. But after a few days, her hand started to swell. So, her husband took her to Bharatpur Hospital. 

They spent a week at Bharatpur Hospital where doctors put a plaster cast round her injured arm. But the condition of her arm got worse. Then her husband rushed her to Martyr’s Memorial Hospital at Kalanki. They finally returned home after seven metal rods were placed within her arm. But now the arm has healed but they don’t have money to remove the metal rods.

Khomaya’s daughter too was injured during the earthquake, but she got good treatment and has recovered. But the family had to sell most of their belongings to foot the medical bills of the mother and daugter.

“We have already spent Rs 400,000 for the treatment,” she said, “We don’t have enough money to remove the rods.” She added that although the government had pledged to provide free treatment to earthquake victims, it has not lived up to its commitment. 

Khomaya’s husband has visited to various government offices including the District Natural Disaster Rescue Committee and District Health Office, Dhading, requesting for funds, but in vain. 
After these local offices repeatedly turned a blind eye to their plight, he went to the Ministry of Health and Population and presented Khomaya’s medical bills seeking compensation. But, the ministry has not taken any action to address their problem.

Ganching Tamang, another quake victim from Gangajamuna Rural Municipality in the district sustained injuries to her left leg during the earthquake. Even though she was rushed to the District Hospital immediately, she has not yet fully recovered. She said that she has already undergone four surgeries. “I even had the artificial support in my leg pulled out with my own money,” she said, adding, “Now I have no money therefore I have no option other than to wait for government support for further treatment.”

These two women are just a handful of examples of earthquake injured who have been ignored by the government. There are many earthquake injured in Dhading who have yet to recover fully. Victims complained that they were provided immediate care only but not long-term support pledged by the government.

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