Nepal's Minister for Health and Population Rajendra Mahato and the U.S. Ambassador to Nepal Peter W. Bodde jointly laid the foundation stone of a new blood bank facility at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) in Kathmandu recently. This seismically engineered facility, being constructed by the United States Government in partnership with TUTH, will supply central blood transfusion services to 75% of the medical facilities and hospitals in the city of Kathmandu. The US Army Corps of Engineers, working with local contractors, will provide design, construction management, and quality assurance services.
It is particularly important, a day after the 15th Annual Earthquake Safety Day, to recognize that Nepal ranks at the top end of the countries that are most vulnerable to a catastrophic earthquake, and the Kathmandu Valley with its dense population is particularly vulnerable, , according to the press release issued by the US embassy. Seismically resilient buildings, which comply with local building codes and are built to withstand the impact of an earthquake, are an essential step in safeguarding the city’s infrastructure and its population in case of a major earthquake. Nepal has made progress in recent years in addressing disasters and preparedness planning. The US Embassy is committed to supporting these advances and planning efforts. An important part of contingency planning is planning for the continuation of critical medical services. In the event of a catastrophic earthquake, a steady blood supply across the city is key to saving lives.
At the ceremony Ambassador Bodde said: "An important goal for the US Government’s work in Nepal is to save lives and to preserve the gains Nepal has made in our sixty years of development partnership. We seek to mitigate the impact of a major natural catastrophe and shorten the recovery time through effective disaster risk reduction efforts such as this blood bank. We are committed to working with Nepal to achieve those goals and commend all the good work which has been done so far."