Diabetes is a fairly new condition in Nepal. Many parts of western Nepal remain remote and sparsely populated. But the population is growing in urban areas. For this demographic, longer life expectancy alongside changes in lifestyle and diet puts them at increased risk of diseases like diabetes.
Diabetes in Nepal
As a result, medics at Green Pastures Hospital are seeing more cases of older patients with chronic, long-term conditions. These not only need immediate intervention but also ongoing management. Diabetes already affects one Nepali in every 10. So the team has launched weekly diabetes clinics in response to this growing need. Specialists at Green Pastures treat more than half a dozen patients in each of their new, twice-weekly outpatient clinics.
New diabetes clinics serving western Nepal
The diabetes clinics share Green Pastures’ unique ethos of providing holistic care for patients in western Nepal. Dr Suman (pictured left) and diabetes nurse Sonam prescribe medication and provide treatment. They also empower patients to manage their own condition. This can include everything from advice on exercise, diet and foot care – to the practical aspects of injecting insulin.
Diabetes care a natural progression from leprosy specialism
Diabetes is a non-communicable disease generally linked to a diet that’s higher in sugar and processed foods. Yet it shares many of the long-term complications of leprosy. Left undiagnosed and untreated, both conditions can lead to amputations and disability. Something Suman, Sonam and their colleagues are working hard to prevent.
The hospital has a long association with treating leprosy and educating patients about its long-term risks. This heritage makes diabetes care a natural progression. It meets the changing needs of western Nepal’s growing population and fits Green Pastures’ vision to prevent and treat disabilities.
Help the hospital prevent and treat disability
Three months in (the diabetes clinics launched in January 2019) and the team is pleased with how the new service is progressing. They have plans to develop it further, making use of existing expertise amongst their colleagues at Green Pastures. Dr Suman explains:
“We already have our own orthopaedics appliance centre. So I think we can manufacture customised, therapeutic footwear for diabetic patients to help prevent foot ulcers.”
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Green Pastures Hospital (GPH) is the biggest rehabilitation hospital in Nepal’s western regions, serving around 50,000 patients each year. With a heritage in leprosy care, GPH is working towards a new vision to meet the needs of Nepali communities: to become a centre of excellence in providing holistic care, preventing disabilities and transforming lives.
With an ethos of high quality, holistic healthcare at is heart, GPH makes sure patients who can’t afford to pay for their treatment will always receive the care they need. It will be the first hospital in Nepal to offer specialist palliative care and dedicated diabetes clinics alongside its established services for spinal cord injury, hearing loss and cerebral palsy. Read more about Green Pastures Hospital.