Two earthquakes hit Nepal on 25 April and 12 May and killed an estimated 8,500 people and injured another 20,000.

When the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, with its epicentre in Gorkha district, 80 kilometres west of Kathmandu, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) launched activities aimed at helping affected populations in need.

MSF ran mobile clinics and supplied shelter and hygiene kits. In some villages, teams found houses and health facilities totally destroyed, prompting MSF to provide the people with medical, shelter and hygiene materials.

In Arughat, in Gorkha district, where the main health facility was destroyed, MSF set up an inflatable hospital.

After an earthquake struck Nepal on April 25, many villages were severely destroyed, leaving people without shelter. MSF distributed hiygene kits, tents, blankets and reconstruction kits to 2000 homeless families. Arughat bazar, main street, Nepal. Photo: Yann Geay
After an earthquake struck Nepal on April 25, many villages were severely destroyed, leaving people without shelter. MSF distributed hygiene kits, tents, blankets and reconstruction kits to 2000 homeless families. Arughat bazar, main street, Nepal. Photo: Yann Geay

 Following the second earthquake on 12 May, MSF teams were already operational and started providing healthcare in the hours following the tremor.

In total within April and July, MSF conducted over 2,500 health consultations and provided psychological support to over 7,000 people mostly via helicopter.

MSF also treated 240 emergency patients and did over 1,200 physiotherapy sessions in the Kathmandu orthopedic hospital.

The humanitarian organization also distributed food, and shelter, cooking and hygiene items to almost 15,000 households. MSF reduced its emergency activities in July 2015 and kept working through two projects in Sangha and Charikot.

In Sangha, MSF has been working in the Spinal Injury rehabilitation Center a 50-bed facility situated east of Katmandu. After the earthquake a large number of patients had surgery done in various hospitals.

Sterilisation area in the inflatable hospital n Arughat, Nepal. Photo: Benoit Finck
Sterilisation area in the inflatable hospital n Arughat, Nepal. Photo: Benoit Finck

Most of the patients suffered injuries on the lower limbs and are now fitted with external fixation, or put in traction.  

MSF provides extra capacity general rehabilitation for post-operative follow up of patients (31 until now) with physiotherapy, dressings, medical follow-up and mental health assistance.

MSF is also currently constructing a new ward to the existing facility for general rehabilitation suited to welcome 50 patients. All activities will be handed over to the Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Center before the end of the year.

NFI were shipped by helicopter to these remote areas. First drop of NFI kits in Kashigaoun, Nepal. Photo: Yann Geay
NFI was shipped by helicopter to these remote areas. First drop of NFI kits in Kashigaoun, Nepal. Photo: Yann Geay

MSF is also providing secondary health care in Charikot, a village at the edge of the mountain, in Dolakha district, the epicenter of the second earthquake, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.

In this hospital, MSF is supporting the surgical department and the inpatient departments. All activities will be handed over to a public-private partnership within the end of the year.

Find out more about MSF's work in Nepal.