President opens modern hospital in Solukhumbu

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from ballav dahal

Phakdin (Solukhumbu), Nov. 7: A 15-bed hospital with modern equipment and services has come into operation here at Phakdin located at Ward No 3 of Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality in Solukhumbu district. 

Built by the Himalayan Sherpa Foundation at a cost of about Rs. 200 million, the hospital provides services to local residents, and domestic as well as foreign trekkers.

President Bidya Devi Bhandari inaugurated the hospital amidst a function organised here on Sunday morning. 

Addressing the ceremony, President Bhandari thanked the Himalayan Sherpa Foundation and German donors for building the hospital at Phakdin, the gateway to Namche and Everest Base Camp.

She asked the Foundation and the local government to enhance cooperation and collaboration in order to provide better health services to the locals and tourists in order to materialise the constitutional provision of ensuring people’s access to health services as their fundamental right.  

She also underlined the need for carrying out development activities in a sustainable manner in view of the increasing impact of climate change on the environment and living beings.

 “We must work to reduce the effects of climate change on the mountain ecology because we have already started noticing snowless rocks in the Himalayas.”

The President also called on one and all to protect the rich cultural heritage and biodiversity found in the Khumbu Region, which is a popular tourist destination.

Member of the National Assembly Sonam Gyalzen Sherpa expressed his happiness over the growing number of hospitals in the district.

He urged the hospital management to provide health education to the locals in order to help prevent them from becoming sick.

Similarly, Chairman of Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Mingma Chhiri Sherpa said that the local government had accorded high priority to the health sector.

According to him, the local government has decided to give Rs. 1 million to each of the locals suffering from chronic diseases for their treatment.   

The hospital project has materaialised at the initiative of veteran tourism entrepreneur Phurba Gyalzen Sherpa, who heads the Himalayan Sherpa Foundation. Born near Lukla, Sherpa alone contributed more than Rs. 100 million to the hospital through the Foundation. German climbers and other philanthropists joined hands with him to complete this vital project by donating money.

Speaking from the chair, Phurba Gyalzen said that it was the happiest moment for him and his team as the long-cherished dream of building a well-equipped hospital came true.

“I would like to thank German social workers, including Dr. Matthias Baumann and Michael Hoschele, for their immense contribution in making this hospital project a success,” he said. 

He said that he had prompted to build a hospital at Phakdin when he frequently saw mothers and children crying on the way to Lukla for their treatment. 

The hospital offers various services, including maternity and padietric. Before the construction of this hospital, the locals as well as trekkers had to go either to Lukla or Namche for health services. 

People from 11 different villages, including Ghat, Monjo, Jomphute and Toktok, stand to benefit from the hospital. 

The hospital has installed an X-ray machine and ultrasound equipment. It is in the process of installing ventilators and oxygen plant. The hospital takes only a minimum registration fee of Rs. 100 from the local patients. It offers free treatment, including medicines.

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