I plan to hold pediatric dermatology clinics at 2 teaching hospitals(Nepal Medical College and Kathmandu Medical College) and one private skin hospital (DISHARC) in Kathmandu and possibly nearby villages, during which I will interact with and educate general dermatologists, residents and medical students regarding management of cutaneous disease in the pediatric dermatology population. I will give 3-5 hours of formal didactic lectures on topics such as infectious diseases, vascular tumors and malformations, pediatric dermatology surgery and genodermatoses to suit the needs of the aforementioned sites. I will discuss and plan collaborative research projects with the sites and facilitate fundraising for the acquisition of necessary instruments and supplies for their clinics.
The Nepalese medical students, residents and general dermatologists I plan to work with will benefit most immediately and directly from this project. Long term, as these trainees staff hospitals and clinics throughout the country and pass their knowledge to their trainees, care will improve for Nepalese children suffering from cutaneous disorders requiring specialized care. Collaborative research projects will provide international networking and career building opportunities for Nepalese physicians. Acquisition of essential equipment will improve care for patients.
This project is a long term partnership longitudinal initiative spearheaded by pediatric dermatologists Dr. Anita Haggstrom and Neil Prose and sponsored by Health Volunteers Overseas. Multiple volunteers have already assessed and begun to address the needs of the aforementioned institutions, health care providers and their patients. Our plan is to send volunteers on a regular basis improve care for pediatric dermatology patients in a continuous and durable way.
The capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu, possesses a significant number of excellent dermatologists who care for patients in private offices and at large public hospitals. The city boasts 4 dermatology residency programs which are integral to addressing the pressing need for dermatology specialists throughout the country. Given the tremendous shortage of dermatologists, it is not surprising that nearly all provide a broad range of general dermatology services, rather than choosing to subspecialize. However, as Nepal's number of trainees and pool of dermatologists grows, there is an increasing interest in and need for expertise in subspecialty fields such as pediatric dermatology. I had the great privilege of working with specialists at the DI Skin Health And Referral Center (DISHARC, a private skin hospital) and dermatologists, residents and students at the Kathmandu Medical College (KMC) and Nepal Medical College (NMC) to improve care for their pediatric dermatology patients. I spent at least one day in the clinics at each location seeing challenging and interesting cases, which sparked learning and discussion. I participated in informal teaching and discussion sessions at each hospital, and held a city wide evening didactic lecture. I also traveled with DISHARC dermatologists to a Buddhist monastery approximately 1 hour outside Kathmandu. The monks and boys living there could not have been more gracious and grateful for our care in the midst of concurrent varicella and scabies outbreaks. I am overwhelmed by the warm welcome I received from the dermatologists, trainees and support staff with whom I worked and am happy to have maintained open channels of communication with them. Back in the US, I continue to receive informal teledermatology consultations several times per week. Discussion of these difficult cases provides excellent education for my residents here in the US, as well as increased awareness of practicing dermatology in a limited resource setting. I hope that our input helps our colleagues in Nepal to continue to improve care for their patients. I feel exceedingly fortunate to have had this experience and look forward to continuing to grow the partnerships I established in Kathmandu.