The access towards inaccessible: Helipad Service in Khunde Hospital
17 April 2016 – Khunde a village in Khumbu region of Solukhumbu district of Nepal within the Sagarmatha National Park is a valley adjacent to Khumjung village at the foot of Khumjung Khumbi Yul Lha, the sacred mountain of Sherpas. This valley lays serenely between 3800 meters and 4000 meters with attractive but a difficult terrain.
Photo: Kunde Hospital
Khunde is the site of Kunde Hospital, founded by Sir Edmund Hilary back in 1966. This hospital is one of the oldest and a major healthcare provider for this rural region. Besides a lot of blockades of geographical problems, this hospital is serving as a major healthcare provider of Khumbu region for years. As the geographical topography and underdevelopment of this region makes the health service more difficult for the people around here the hospital has recently started a new way of providing a more serious service to the people of this region by building a new helipad inside the premises of the hospital.
There can be no other way better than constructing a helipad for providing service to the critical cases of the hospital that need to be referred to Kathmandu or other major hospitals of the country. The primary objective to build it was the same and people looked forward to quick transfer of the seriously ill patients to Kathmandu. Thus this helipad could only come to existence after the local Sherpa people extended their helping hands for its construction. The whole helipad was built with the help of the local Sherpas of this region.
Photo : Khunde Hospital Helipad
The construction resembles to a historic event that happened for construction of Lukla Airport in Solukhumbu. Only with the help of Sherpa people in that region the dream of Sir Edmund Hilary came to reality to build an airport in the most difficult location of the country. This airport now serves the main gateway for the travelers in Nepal to go climb Mount Everest with count of 50 flights per day in season.
The common cases that get referred to other big hospitals of the city are caesarean section, appendicitis and patients requiring I.C.U. care and ventilator. Before the construction of this helipad, patients would have to be carried for about 15 minutes in the traditional way inside the wooden baskets or wooden stretchers to the other helipad near Khumjung. The construction of this new helipad will greatly aid in the active service of the Hospital. The helipad is right behind the hospital and also has wheelchair access directly to the helipad. Dr. Mingma Thsering Sherpa a medical doctor of Khunde Hospital said, “Since the construction of this helipad we have referred 7 serious patients to Kathmandu via Helicopter rescue for further treatments.
On addition Dr. Mingma said: “approximately, the diameter of the helipad is 20-22 meters, at an altitude of 3840 meters. And tentative cost for building the helipad was about 1.5 lakhs”.
He has also analyzed the safety scenario of the Helipad and remembers the incident of the first flight of Manang Air from the helipad when the flying plastics under the vortex of rotors got entangled on the main rotors of the helicopters and however no damage had been recorded. If the proper cleanliness is maintained near the helipad site, the possibility of this type of incident will be greatly reduced and this helipad is expected to serve a lot of people in coming days.