Premier Anti-Leprosy Organization Breaks Barriers to Health with USAID ASHA in Nepal
November 18, 2022
(Greenville, S.C., November 18, 2022) Nepal has one of the world’s highest numbers of new leprosy cases each year, making it a key site for combatting the disease. American Leprosy Missions has been active in Nepal since 1982, most notably through its support of hospitals that specialize in leprosy care and treatment: Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital and Services Center and Anandaban Hospital. These hospitals treat hundreds of thousands of people, both those affected by leprosy and those with general medical or emergency needs.
In 2022, American Leprosy Missions is marking the completion and initiation, respectively, of two grants from the USAID Office of American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) for these partner hospitals in Nepal.
New Trauma Center at Anandaban Hospital
In September, Anandaban Hospital inaugurated a new trauma center, culminating a $500,000 ASHA grant for the center’s construction.
Anandaban Hospital, located on the outskirts of Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, is the country’s primary tertiary care provider for leprosy services. The hospital also provides general patient care, serving inaccessible and under-resourced areas.
The hospital lost key infrastructure in the 7.9-magnitude earthquake that devastated Nepal in 2015. After three years of planning and construction, the new three-story trauma center houses two modern operation theaters and surgical wards, the emergency ward, and a maternity block. The building is earthquake-safe and disability-friendly, with separate ward sections for men and women to allow for patient privacy.
Anandaban’s new trauma center will house the ICU, emergency ward, and a maternity ward.
ALM’s Asia regional director, Dr. Sunil Anand, speaking at the inauguration ceremony.
“This celebration is not just an inauguration of this building: it’s a celebration of the determination and resilience of the team here at Anandaban,” noted Dr. Sunil Anand, ALM’s Asia regional director, speaking during the building’s inauguration ceremony on Saturday, September 17.
“There are many lives that have been transformed by the service they’ve received in this hospital. Many people who would otherwise not have access to this high quality of services will now have access, thanks to this building and wonderful team.”
Another multi-year USAID ASHA grant of nearly $400,000 will supply the finished building with surgical equipment, air conditioning units, X-ray machines, and other needed commodities. These grants were the third and fourth USAID ASHA grants awarded to American Leprosy Missions for work in Nepal.
Watch this video about Anandaban Hospital and the new trauma center:
Expanding Infrastructure at Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital
In October 2022, American Leprosy Missions was awarded its eighth ASHA grant for another construction project, this one at Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital in southeastern Nepal.
When Lalgadh Hospital opened its doors in 1996, it was designed for several thousand people to receive leprosy treatment each year. Now the hospital serves over 100,000 people annually, both for leprosy and general medical care.
In 2017, American Leprosy Missions administered another USAID ASHA grant to expand Lalgadh’s infrastructure. This year’s grant, totalling over $640,000, will combine construction and renovation to establish a premier research and training facility at Lalgadh, including an operating theater complex for specialized leprosy surgeries. This investment over the next four years will increase Lalgadh’s capacity and solidify its status as an international focal point of leprosy research, medical education and excellent healthcare.
About USAID ASHA
The ASHA program aims to increase the ability of overseas schools, libraries and hospitals to demonstrate U.S. advancements in education and medical technology. These institutions then contribute to the strengthening of mutual understanding between the people of the United States and those of other countries while creating a foundation for leadership development.
About American Leprosy Missions
American Leprosy Missions is the oldest and largest Christian organization in the United States dedicated to breaking down barriers to health and restoring hope for people suffering from the pain and stigma of neglected tropical diseases like leprosy. It currently supports projects, programs and partners in more than 25 countries in Africa, Asia and South America. Since its founding in 1906, American Leprosy Missions has provided holistic healing to more than four million people around the world including medical treatment, health worker training, disease mapping, community development, health system strengthening and research.
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