Volunteering in a disaster zone
In the dozen or so days after the devastating April 25 earthquake in Nepal, in which more than 8,000 people died, many international search and rescue teams arrived and left.
They were followed by a second wave of emergency response healthcare teams belonging to smaller non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and even nurses volunteering independently. But once there, these highly motivated, well-trained health professionals found it challenging to reach earthquake victims in need of help.
‘The worst of the medical emergencies in the immediate area of the capital Kathmandu had been dealt with by the time many NGOs arrived,’ says Emily Scott, a labour room nurse from Seattle in the United States, who spent a week in Nepal with the medical volunteer organisation Global Outreach Doctors (GoDocs).
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