“We believe that medical care is a basic human right; that no individual should suffer or die just because he or she is too poor to pay for it.”
The Chhatrapati Free Clinic is the largest free clinic and hospital in Kathmandu, serving the most needy across a vast stretch of Kathmandu. A registered non-profit on its own, the clinic and hospital offer E.R. services, radiology, surgery and physiotherapy on-site. During the 2015 earthquakes, the hospital provided relief to the immediate community, and provided search and rescue services as a result of ongoing training with National Geographic. The clinic’s outreach programs touch thousands more every year as their physicians and nurses offer medical care to those not residing near the hospital; in addition, the clinic offers basic search and rescue training, first aid, and basic disaster management training for local residents.
The clinic is run by Mr. Bijaya Bahadur Mali. He is the creative force behind the transformation of the clinic from a humble first-aid center to a three-time nationally recognized community-run, non-profit charitable day hospital for the underprivileged and the needy. Medical Director, Dr. Kulesh Bahadur Thapa, is our primary contact at the clinic.
In addition to being the Retired Deputy Inspector General of the Nepal Police, Dr. Kulesh Thapa is a medical doctor affiliated with the Nepal Police Hospital for the last 23 years. His particular area of expertise is disaster management. Dr. Thapa also works as a trainer of pre-hospital emergency care and has extensive experience throughout South and Southeast Asia, and Africa working with UNDP and international NGOs.
In 2017, at the request of both Mr. Bijay and Dr. Kulesh, our GHI Founder, Alicia, trained all relevant hospital staff on how to use gait belts to safely assist unsteady seniors in ambulating and walking, and also in transitioning from seated to standing, and back where necessary. Dr. Kulesh then requested that she make the trip to Kalikasthan to train the EMTs housed in that ambulance facility. She has been requested to return and re-train the new staff at the hospital and at other EMT centers during her next visit.
In 2019, she received an unexpected and unsolicited donation from a woman whom she’d met at the Seattle-Tacoma airport. This generous gift was used to purchase toothbrushes of varying sizes and toothpastes, which were delivered to Dr. Kulesh Thapa. These supplies will be used during their weekly visits to four children’s homes in the Bhaktapur area, where the children will be taught not just how to brush their teeth, but how to rinse their toothbrush and keep it as well, instead of using it just a few times and throwing it away. Children’s toothbrushes are difficult to find in Nepal, and are expensive for those who can find them. To further assist Dr. Kulesh’s efforts, Alicia obtained a donation of 150 additional children’s toothbrushes, and 70 additional children’s toothpastes from a local dental office upon her return to the States and shipped them back to the clinic. All this was made possible because generous people want to improve the lives of others whom they will never meet.
Dr. Kulesh was proud to announce, during Alicia’s last visit, that the clinic now has a website of its own.