Gladstone Base Hospital midwife Deborah Smith is travelling to Nepal in September to assist with the opening of a new medical centre.
Gladstone Base Hospital midwife Deborah Smith is travelling to Nepal in September to assist with the opening of a new medical centre. Christopher Chan

Midwife joins in mission to boost healthcare in Nepal

ONE Gladstone midwife is going above and beyond to help others, all in the name of medicine.

In September, Gladstone Base Hospital midwife Deborah Smith is travelling to Nepal to oversee the construction of a new medical facility.

Renovations to the basic wooden medical clinic in the Langtang Valley have already begun, with Deborah making the trip to provide assistance to medical staff working on the project.

"I was speaking to one of the organisers in February and I asked whether they needed any assistance," Deborah said.

"I was friends with Edi (organiser) and he told me they would need some assistance with midwifery."

Without the facility, the people of the 4500-person township would have to make a two- to three-day trip to the nearest facility, with definite medical attention sought via a 12-hour bus ride to Kathmandu.

"I'm really looking forward to travelling to Nepal. I've been looking to go to Nepal for the past five years and now I have a reason," Deborah said.

Through assistance provided, the existing medical centre will be renovated, have new equipment installed and will have a doctor and nurse employed by the end of the year.

Deborah practised her craft as an entry-level midwife at Gladstone's Mater Hospital. She spent the past 10 years working at the Mater, before returning to town and taking relief work at the Gladstone Base Hospital.

"I guess I don't really have a fixed address," she said.

Deborah is staying at the nurses' quarters while she offers her services at Gladstone Base Hospital.

Today Deborah is intent on raising awareness for the cause.

"If 35 people donated $10 a fortnight, that will cover the wages of a nurse and doctor for a year," she said. "I'm paying my own way over and going on a trek through Nepal afterwards."

Deborah is expected to return from her stint in Nepal at the end of the year.

People looking to make a donation should visit langtang valleyhealth.org.

How can I help?

  • Visit langtangvalleyhealth.org.
  • Follow the journey on FB: Langtang Valley Health page.
  • Donations are not tax deductible.


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