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Friends of NAS have provided financial backing for operational expenses and emergency medical technician (EMT) training.
FoNAS also provide emergency medical equipment donations, as well as clinical advice and managerial guidance.
In future FoNAS plans include the following:
Increase awareness of the value of EMS
Remarkably most patients who present to hospitals in Kathmandu and Pokhara still use taxis and not NAS ambulances. Why this is still the case after 8 years of operations is actually quite complex. It is an area of focus of FoNAS research.
At its most basic, patients do not understand why an ambulance is far superior to a taxi. FoNAS intends to change this perception.
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Spend Your Money Wisely
Until recently the Nepal Ambulance Service received no funding support from the Government of Nepal and all operational, training and administrative costs had to be covered by donation. For ten years generous donors like yourselves have supported NAS by covering all operational costs.
Because NAS has proven its effectiveness with extremely limited resources and demonstrated its potential for much greater and better EMS, the Government of Nepal now contributes to operational expenses. However the challenges facing NAS are still significant when considering that NAS operates only 10 ambulances – 6 in Kathmandu, 2 in Pokhara and 1 each in Chitwan and Butwal – the resources available to meet potential demand are extremely limited.
Increasing Nepali awareness of the value of EMS is another critical factor in improving and expanding EMS in Nepal. This is a new challenge for FoNAS and your continued support for this public health outreach is greatly appreciated. Progress reports and updates on this campaign will be available soon.
Increase NAS call outs
If patients understood the life saving interventions of NAS ambulances as opposed to hailing a readily available taxi, NAS could greatly increase its call outs and help FoNAS reach one of its goals – to extend EMS to all Nepalis in major metropolitan centres. This challenge is daunting as it requires a multi-cultural, multi-lingual PR and advertising campaign.
In this regard FoNAS is working with Nepali agencies to reach target audiences with appropriate messages.
Training of EMTs
Training of Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) is a task shared by NAS partners. Primary responsibility has been taken on by a specialty division of an American medical school – Stanford Emergency Medicine International.
The Zurich based Regio 144 ambulance company also provide periodic refresher training and occasionally donate retired EMS equipment and ambulance crew uniforms.
FoNAS has been regularly sending a highly experienced senior paramedic to work side by side with NAS crews to insure that skills learned in the classroom are actually practiced in real work active duty situations. Feedback from these visits form the basis of updates to periodic training programs.
FoNAS studies show long delays before patients receive vital time-critical emergency care such as oxygen, pain medications and safe transfer after injury. The studies clearly indicate the long-term commitment to improving pre-hospital and emergency care in Nepal is more complex than just creating a functional ambulance service.
In response to Covid-19, medical electives are temporarily on hold. We nevertheless welcome medical student interest in FoNAS and, in fact, still do have potential research projects for suitable students. We are happy to receive interest in anticipation of when electives resume – hopefully soon!
When able to operate again, the majority of FoNAS electives will be spent learning how emergencies are dealt with in Nepal. FoNAS will ask participants to dedicate some of their time to collecting dat and filing case reports.
FoNAS want to make an efficient, evidence based Emergency Medical Service in Pokhara. To do that FoNAS want to understand the clinical need and how best to enable the most efficient use of the extremely limited resources to make the largest impact on patient outcomes.
By detailing and formally reporting on widespread clinical need, FoNAS can justify to potential large grant donors why further support is needed. The work also develops a baseline of data that will allow it to compare and evaluate future outcomes when the service is larger and more widespread.
For more on Electives click here