Friends of Shanta Bhawan is an outpatient clinic in the heart of the Kathmandu Bhouda district, which is primarily populated by Buddhist Tibetans. It is a non-profit clinic that is supported by the NGO Hands in Hands. There are currently 3 full time physicians who work Sunday-Friday 9-3pm. They see a moderate volume of pediatric and adult patients. They run vaccination, family planning, and antenatal clinics as well as manage acute and chronic non-emergent medical problems. Our visit was to support the clinics mission of serving the Tibetan marginalized population and to expand their ultrasound knowledge and practice. For four weeks, we focused on building skills in abdominal, pelvic, pulmonary ultrasound as well as echocardiography. The have a dated Toshiba machine with one curvilinear low frequency probe that is working fine currently, but need updated equipment and a wider probe selection.
They also do free health camps at the clinic and around Kathmandu therefore a portable ultrasound device would greatly benefit the clinic and population. Two surprises during the trip was that the physicians were interested in prostate ultrasound, which we could only teach trans-abdominally. The other was that despite charging little for services, the clinic is financially reliant on the ultrasound revenue. Therefore, updating the equipment and having a backup system is a necessary future project. The clinic recently created a relationship for referring patients to Kist University Hospital.
This site is a great clinic for multidisciplinary collaboration as you can help if you are FM, IM, peds, OB/GYN, radiology, or EM. They are happy to host residents and students, but would ask a fee to host medical students. Kathmandu is a great place to visit and is in high need of medical support and development.