HALO Health Air Lift Operation

PURPOSE

MountainChild’s HALO Program is Nepal’s first air evacuation service specifically designed to reach the most critical, marginalized, and most remote villagers of the Himalayas.

HALO, which stands for Health Air Lift Operation, intersects with villagers in their greatest time of need and carry’s hope through saving of lives. This powerful program directly reduces the high infant mortality rates experienced in such remote, isolated areas and provides life-giving care where few life-saving options exist.

BACKGROUND

Working in the remote areas of the Himalayas brings many challenges. However, in the past two years, we have been able to help save the lives of patients who needed immediate medical attention. Recognizing this need of emergency medical evacuation through helicopters, the HALO project has been launched. HALO is a service aimed to help and serve people staying in remote parts of the Himalayas where the possibility of receiving emergency medical care and treatments are limited mainly because of a lack of transportation methods to bring patients to higher levels of medical care.

PARTNERSHIP

MountainChild’s HALO program is only feasible through partnerships with two other organizations. With the help of our trained healthcare workers in the remote villages of the Himalayas, the patient will be flown to Kathmandu with our air evacuation partner, as well as the patient navigation service provided by Sundar Dhoka Saathi Sewa (SDSS), an NGO serving people with special needs.

PROCESS

  • Assessment

  • Air Evacuation

  • Care & Recovery

  • Reintegration Support

STORIES FROM THE FIELD

Baby Sonam

When baby Sonam was first brought to us, she was covered in skin rashes and was severely underweight for an 11-month-old child, weighing only 13 pounds. Our remote MC health workers bathed the child, bandaged some of the bigger wounds, and gave her mother advice on how to feed baby Sonam nutritious food to help her grow.

After our initial encounter with baby Sonam, unfortunately, her symptoms did not improve. Baby Sonam and her mother were advised to seek treatment in Kathmandu, where MountainChild has been covering all of baby Sonam’s medical expenses. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, our MC staff took her to the hospital where the doctors diagnosed her with multiple infections. She spent time in the ICU after receiving a blood transfusion. Since then, Baby Sonam's health has been improving daily. Only a few months ago Baby Sonam was diagnosed with sepsis, severe oedema (excess swelling), malnutrition and pneumonia. Because of the HALO project, we are delighted to see that she has fully recovered and healthy! She is even beginning to walk! Seeing baby Sonam safely at home with her family urges us on in our efforts to carry hope to children in the Himalayas. It has been a joy to be a part of Baby Sonam’s road to recovery. Thank you all for joining us on this beautiful journey!

Karma

We are thrilled to share with you another successful HALO rescue. 51-year-old Karma had been suffering from a severe bowel obstruction and other internal complications for weeks. His stomach was swollen and he was barely able to move due to the pain. His condition worsened as days passed but, fortunately, MountainChild was able to fly him to Kathmandu in time for proper medical treatment. After arriving in Kathmandu, Karma spent several days in the hospital before being discharged. Although he is still taking medication, he has started to walk and carry out most daily activities by himself. During a recent visit with our staff, Karma expressed his gratitude to MountainChild and our partners for helping to provide such a life-saving service to his remote community.

Thinlay

Thinlay, a 33-year-old man from Namrung, fell to the ground from the second story of his house while he was working on it. The fall caused internal bleeding and swelling in his abdomen, which caused him to vomit blood. He began to display other more serious signs, which confirmed that his condition was deteriorating. MountainChild was able to send a rescue helicopter to bring him to Kathmandu for medical treatment. Soon after he was airlifted to Kathmandu, Thinlay received the required medical attention. After weeks of being treated in a local hospital, he has been discharged and is doing well.

Nyima

Recently our Ghap health post staff came across a 7 year old girl named Nyima while visiting the village of Chhak. Nyima was noticeably small for her age which drew our attention to her. Our health staff were concerned that she had an acute case of malnutrition, which must be treated as soon as possible. MountainChild Health Staff then arranged for her and her older brother Norsang, who acted as her translator, to be brought to Kathmandu for an assessment. After many tests the doctors determined that Nyima actually suffers from a condition called “stunting,” which is the impaired growth and development caused by poor nutrition, repeated infections and inadequate psycho-social stimulation. Unfortunately, this condition is largely irreversible.

Nyima also suffers from anemia, an effect of chronic poor nutrition and she was also diagnosed with intestinal worms for which she is receiving treatment. Our staff is helping Nyima to complete all the needed medical tests and consultations. She is a sweet girl with bright personality. Even though all the places she visited were totally new to her, she never seemed afraid and had big smiles for everyone she met. She and her brother had been staying in our Kathmandu RANCH. As an update, Nyima has returned back to her village very healthy and happy. Our staff are making arrangements for her to join the primary education program at Shree Nubri School in Prok.

Carry Hope Through HALO

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