Doc, deported for aiding stir, back

Kathmandu, May 12:

An American doctor, who was deported after he helped victims of police brutality during a demonstration at Gongabu on April 11, returned here on Tuesday to continue his social service.

Dr Brian Cobb, a 50-year-old physician specialising in critical care medicine and Germany’s Dr Hensel, along with the hundreds of agitators, became victims of the autocratic government. They were asked to leave the country on April 13 for violating the laws of the land by working without a work visa. “I have no hard feelings for anyone and I don’t believe in revenge, but I believe in justice,” Dr Cobb said. “The lives of those murdered and the sufferings of the victims will be devalued and the deterrent effect of law will be negated if those involved in the brutality are freed.”

Though he is here for only two weeks, he plans to shift his work here eventually by launching an academic programme in emergency and trauma medicine in medical colleges.

“The medical scenario in the country has improved drastically over a decade but still emergency medical care is lagging far behind,” Dr Cobb said. “Pre-hospital care is non-existent in Nepal.”

He has dreams of having a mobile medical team with a helicopter so that if any mishaps occur, the emergency team could save the lives of many.

He said he wants to contribute his knowledge in sharpening the skills of medical professionals of the country. He is delivering a lecture on emergency trauma care to doctors and nurses of various hospitals at the Kathmandu Model Hospital tomorrow. He will then visit hospitals to meet the injured demonstrators.

Earlier, he came to Kathmandu on April 1 and provided two-day first aid training to 14 volunteers. On April 11, he and his team treated around 200 injured demonstrators including police personnel. Currently, he is teaching ‘Emergency in Critical care’ in a medical college in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He was also a lecturer at the Medical College in Bhairahawa for 3 years.

“I was watching the situation in Nepal in the Internet and when ministers announced that they would resort to excessive use of force to suppress the movement, I packed my bags with medical equipment and came here on April 1,” Dr Cobb said.

Three years ago, too, he was actively involved in the streets providing first aid to the injured policemen and students during a students’ movement.

He said the people here proved that they would not agree to a rule by a despot. “People under the colour of authority should be punished severely,” he said. “The family members of the victims should file a civil lawsuit,” he said.