2016 HERO AWARD – HEALTH
2011 HEALTH AWARD HONOREE
Founder, Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre for Disabled Children
Dr. Ashok Banskota provides urgently-needed medical care to children in Nepal suffering from orthopedic disabilities. After training and earning his board certification in New York, he found the medical situation in Nepal shockingly limited and primitive, particularly for the poor. In 1984, Dr. Banskota started a small program to help poor children with disabilities. Over time, his program grew into what is now the Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre for Disabled Children (HRDC), a world-class center in Nepal that provides surgery and rehabilitation for children who would otherwise be ostracized by society. HRDC treats children under seventeen for a whole range of problems from club feet, to burns, to tuberculosis of the spine.
No matter where they live in the world, a disabled child experiences struggles that many of us will never have to face. In Nepal, these difficulties are compounded by the rugged terrain, the remoteness of villages, and poverty. A disabled child in Nepal cannot go to school or help in the fields. There is no place for these children, and no future. Often, they are left alone in dark rooms, ostracized, or even sold to circuses where they live a short life of humiliation.
Dr. Banskota makes sure that children from all over the country get the treatment they need to become fully functioning members of society. Because of Nepal’s limited roadways, medical teams from the HRDC travel by foot and mule to reach remote villages where children need care. After treatment, children receive comprehensive rehabilitation plans to ensure that they fully recover. The HRDC even has an in-house prosthetic unit for patients who need prosthetic limbs.
Grant funds from World of Children were used to treat 130 children born with unilateral congenital idiopathic club foot. This life-changing procedure allows children to walk, run and play normally, giving them a chance at a full, healthy life. Our Co-Founders had the chance to visit the HRDC, where they met children in the outpatient clinic and inpatient wards, and later stopped by the HRDC’s prosthetic workshop and other support facilities.
Since Dr. Banskota was first honored by World of Children in 2011, HRDC has conducted over 100,000 consultations and performed 5,000 surgeries. HRDC has secured a partnership with UNICEF to work in three remote districts of Nepal – bringing specialized medical care to some of the country’s most vulnerable children. In the spring of 2015, Dr. Banskota and HRDC’s response to the devastating earthquake was swift and decisive. HRDC began surveying damages and reaching out to victims to offer help within 24 hours of the devastating quake. In partnership with another local hospital, HRDC helped hundreds of earthquake survivors.