Hospital exchange continues strong bonds between Norfolk and Nepal

Sister Helen Cox and Roshani Bajracharya at the James Paget University Hospital.Picture: JPUH

Sister Helen Cox and Roshani Bajracharya at the James Paget University Hospital.Picture: JPUH - Credit: Archant

A strong link is being forged between two hospitals that are separated by more than 4,000 miles.

A health exchange has seen a cancer nurse from Nepal spend six weeks at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston to gain knowledge on stoma care.

Roshani Bajracharya, from Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital about eight miles from the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu, spent time at the James Paget thanks to a three year-old link between both countries.

She is a specialist stoma nurse but also looks after cancer patients and during her visit she also spent time with the breast care team and departments including endoscopy.

Stomas are surgically created to pass waste material from the body for those with some bowel conditions including colon cancer.

She said: “I will be taking lots of useful skills and knowledge back to Nepal. Things are different here particularly around the resources available to patients.

“In Nepal patients have to pay for their own stoma bags and this means they are often reused as they simply can’t afford them. I’ve also noticed a difference in the sterile environment - while we wear gowns and gloves, the level of how sterile everything is kept is very different here.

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“At the moment we have just one one-hour clinic, so I’m hoping we can expand this as we treat more than 100 patients with stomas.”

James Paget consultant surgeon and surgical Tutor Kamal Aryal was born in Nepal and in 2015 he led a team of doctors from the hospital who went out to assist following the devastating Nepalese earthquake.

With support from local community in Great Yarmouth via charity Health Exchange Nepal and Nepalese Doctors Association, two school buildings have been built near the epicentre of earthquake.

Mr Aryal has also been leading a team of doctors from to Nepal each year to provide training in laparoscopic surgery and anaesthesia.

He arranged the exchange in conjunction with Health Exchange Nepal to the James Paget to gain an overview of stoma care in the UK.

The James Paget’s Ostomy Support Group is now looking to raise funds to help supply her patients.

The visitor was mentored by clinical nurse specialist Helen Cox.