Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, March 9:

Japan has decided to extend a grant of $86,045 (Rs 6.079 million) to Nepalgunj Medical College (NMC), Lord Buddha Educational Academy, for the implementation of a project for medical care and preventive medical services through out-reached clinic for conflict victims in the mid-Western Nepal.

Tsutomu Hiraoka, ambassador of Japan to Nepal and Mukunda Bhakta Shrestha, founder chairman of NMC, today signed a grant contract to this effect at a programme held in the Japanese embassy. The grant comes under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects (GGP) scheme in Japan’s fiscal year 2004.

According to Japanese embassy, the grant will be exclusively utilised for the procurement of one mobile clinic van, one mobile X-ray machine and two ultra-sound machines. NMC will bear the operation and maintenance costs.

The objective of the project is to upgrade the existing facility and services of NMC and support its initiation of out-reached medical camps in Banke, Bardiya, Dang and Surkhet districts of the mid-Western Development Region.

It is expected that the project will help bring medical personnel and care closer to conflict victims who have not been able to travel to hospitals due to prevailing conflict. About 18,000 people annually, victims of conflict and people from poor backgrounds and deprived communities, are expected to benefit. NMC, the recipient institution, will contribute necessary human resources, operational and management cost, and treatments and other necessary equipment to carry out various specialised as well as generalised treatment in medical camps, conducted in the conflict areas on a periodical basis.

Ambassador Hiraoka said that NMC, besides providing emergency services to the victims of conflict, free treatment, as well as free services or services at highly subsidised rates for poor and deprived people, will function as a hub-hospital for the mid-Western and far-Western development regions.

Mentioning as a close friend and development partner of Nepal, he said that Japan has been assisting Nepal in its efforts of alleviating poverty and achieving sustainable economic development through economic and technical cooperation for over three decades now. He believed that the project signifies the aspirations of Japan and its people for the promotion of the well-being of Nepal.

NMC chairman Shrestha thanked Japan for its support in providing health services to the needy and conflict-hit people of mid-western Nepal. He said that NMC has been conducting several health camps in remote areas of the region and now its services will be enhanced with better equipment.