On three days from 16-18th February 2017 we were delighted to help run the Society of Otolaryngologist’s of Nepal (SOL) biennial ENT conference in Pokhara.

The conference alternates between Kathmandu and other cities. About one year ago we requested that the next should be in Pokhara. We are very happy that the SOL secretariat made contact with us. Our friend Dr Devesh Singh, the ENT chief at the Government Western Regional Hospital in Pokhara became the chief local organiser. We all worked closely together to enable a special meeting with a strong emphasis on ear problems. We ran an extra conference day, of live ear surgery at the Ear Centre.

With a lot of help from the INF electrical and IT teams we were able to set up some new equipment paid for by our Swiss partner charity (SON) and bought in the UK and transported by Mike. This enabled us to have High Definition video images relayed from the operating room and the surgical microscopes directly to the main ear centre training hall, and to the theatre lounge. We also had audio feeds so that the audience could talk to the surgeons as they operated, and ask questions and debate techniques.

We were really pleased when numbers exceeded our expectations, with 96 doctors attending. We were even more pleased that the equipment all worked! We had a very reputable visiting surgeon (Prof. Vijay Hanurappa) from Bangalore in India, organised by SOL. Mr Jeremy Lavy from the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear hospital in London was organised by EAN. Jeremy has visited us before and we hope will do so again. He has a particular reputation for stapes and otosclerosis surgery. These surgeons and Mike were able to demonstrate several major middle ear operations. During the rest of the conference, all these three and our own Sandra Eisner, based in Pokhara on a research visa and analysing our ear camps data, plus short term visitor, Anne Markey, who is a senior ENT trainee in the UK, were able to give guest lectures, chair sessions, judge the research poster competition and present research papers. Anne won a prize for her short paper.

We all received plaques, certificates, rosettes and thanks! We are grateful that the course organisers also honoured the INF team from the ear centre for their excellent hard work.

All the surgeries went well and we are confident that the patients will do well. The wards were the busiest we have seen them so far, with all ward beds and private cabin beds occupied.


A small number of the conference delegates and organisers gather on the last day.


Prof. Vijay demonstrates to Dr Nirmal, one of our two staff ear surgeons


Mr Jeremy Lavy receives his plaque of thanks from Prof. Mishra


In February 2017 the staff at the Ear Centre were excited to realise that they had just seen their 7,006th new patient since opening in November 2015! Many have retuned for follow up, so the total number of consultations and out-patient procedures is even larger. They have also now done 517 ear operations. Despite obstacles and delays with visas and with importation of medical items, the work has gone on and the team are very happy to be able to report that so many people have been helped. The hospital is highly regarded and has recently been used as movie set twice! Several thousand people have also had hearing tests and nearly 500 hearing aids have been fitted.

I attach a photo of Bishesh, one of the new INF staff who works in Registration and Statistics, standing with just some of the patient files. We have designed record books for out-patients and for in-patient episodes and these are working very well. Note the doll behind him that the children in the waiting area play with - it was knitted by one of our supporters!




The Society of Otolaryngologists of Nepal has announced the EAN Otology Bursary.

On the occasion of 8th National Conference of Society of Otolaryngologists of Nepal held on 17-18th February 2017 in Pokhara, Dr. Michael C F Smith on behalf of INF’s Ear Centre, Green Pastures Hospital has announced a £2,000 Ear Aid Nepal Educational Otology Bursary to facilitate the selected candidate to attend an OTOLOGY course or conference preferably in the UK or internationally recognised centre.

Full details here:




(L to R) Mr Ashish (audiologist), Miss Sandra Eisner (audiologist and speech therapist)
Dr Mike Smith, Dr Nirmal Thapa (ENT surgeon)

The 1st Community Ear Care in Nepal Conference was held over two days at a hotel in Kathmandu in November 2016.

The conference was sponsored by the Government of Nepal and Impact Nepal.

It was well attended and a great encouragement. In recent years there has been a great deal of activity to push the plight of the deaf and those with ear disease into the awareness of the public and the health services in Nepal. Although they are still not a high priority, despite the vast numbers involved, it was excellent that top politicians and civil servants took the time to attend and participate. It was marvellous to hear of the many projects springing up around Nepal. Particularly the recognition of the need for a network of dedicated Ear Care Workers and additional training in understanding, diagnosis and treatment of ear disorders for paramedical workers. EAN hope to be involved in helping to develop this based around the INF Ear Centre in Pokhara.


The chief guest speaker was Mr Gagan Thapa, the Minister of Health for Nepal. Professor Rakesh Prasad Srivastava, was the hugely experienced principle medical speaker.


Dr Mike Smith was an invited speaker. He delivered a talk on the subject of INF ear camps over the past 25 years. Sandra Eisner has been undertaking a research study under Kathmandu University, to analyse the data for these camps and Mike was able to present some of this. Including the numbers of patients with different types of ear disease and varying degrees of hearing loss that have attended the camps. The data include over 40,000 patients. Mike was delighted to be able to visit the Minister of health and the secretary for health in their offices shortly after the conference.

We are now planning for the Society of Otolaryngologists (SOL) of Nepal biannual conference. This will be in Pokhara in February 2017. There will be an additional satellite day of conference, held at the Ear hospital, with demonstrations of live surgery.


Two tables

Namaste and Greetings from Nepal!

Today is the 3rd of November,
it is very important day for us because our dream project the EHTC was opened on
3rd November 2015.

So it is a first BIRTH DAY OF EHTC.

Still the situation not very helpful to develop but day to day is excellent,
it is very good for us. The total OPD number is 5,730 in a year which is very good number.

I would like to give you all, very, very thank you so much
for all your hard work and support for EHTC and congratulations!!!

Best Regards

Eka Dev and Family


Bhutta photo ean
Mr Mahmood Bhutta DPhil FRCS (ORL-HNS), (currently Otology Fellow at Royal Perth Hospital, Australia and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia), has won the 2016 MJA, MDA National, Nossal Global Health Prize. This was for an essay he wrote discussing the effects of hearing loss, and of a changing world, on elderly populations. The essay was inspired by events from his trip to our Ear Hospital in Nepal last year, and will be published in the Medical Journal of Australia in November 2016.

Congratulations to Dr Mahmood!

Download the essay here


A 60th Birthday Party to raise funds for Ear Aid Nepal


Rosanita Gargarita is an ear, nose and throat theatre nurse working at University Hospital, Birmingham. She has volunteered at an Ear Aid Nepal ear camp and has first hand experience of the work we do in Nepal. When a significant birthday came around Rosanita decided not just to celebrate with her many friends and relatives from Birmingham and beyond, but to turn her birthday into a fund-raising event. Rosanita is one of the many nurses that have come to the UK from the Philippines and the birthday party was celebrated with Filipino food, drink, songs and dancing. A brief talk by Ear Aid Nepal trustee Tom Martin told the guests about our work and a collection was made, contributing the sum of £492 to our charity.






The garden is being planted - all we need now is lots of rain to get the grass growing! For an aerial view of how things are progressing, take a look here.

Eka Dev's Notebook

We're introducing something new,
Eka Dev's Notebook. From time to time Eka Dev will be filing interesting stories covering recent activities at the Ear Hospital. Here are the first:

24th March 2016

At 9am in Fewa city Hospital in Pokhara we have chance meeting one gentleman, with his excited smile and Namaste. When he saw us he looks very happy and he started to tell us about his son’s post op ear about 6 year back, first ear at a small ear camp run in Fishtail hospital Pokhara by Dr Mike Smith and INF team, which is very good and second ear in Pokhara camp on November 2013.
He was looking for Dr Mike Smith to treat again for the second ear because still some small problems on it, therefore he is so happy and he said us I am feeling so grateful, he was keep saying about mike are you staying in Nepal, and same time we advised him to come our New Ear Hospital to see his second ear.
He promised us I will advertise about ear hospital and Mike and bring more people who are suffering from Ear problems.

-- + --

A lady of 60 years came to our OPD 2 weeks ago with history of both ear itching on/off for last 1 ½-2 years. She had visited many centers outside and treated with multiple oral and topical medications without any relief. On examination she didn’t have any significant findings except some dry scales over the canal. She was treated with just a topical ointment without any oral medications. She was not convinced initially with the type of medication provided, but after good counseling she looked satisfied. Two weeks later, today she came to OPD with a big smile in her face. She was relieved from her symptoms. She is so happy that she says that she’ll now advertise every one with ear problem to visit only this center and not go anywhere else. This is all due to the quality of our service in terms of infrastructure, equipment and hospitality.

Recorded by Dr Sanjay Koirala ENT MS at Ear Centre, 3/2016

-- + --

28th March 2016

38years Male postop Client came from Rolpa which is 18 hours journey by public bus, he came with infection on the right ear which was operated on 2014 in Rolpa but his hearing is better after operation. After all examination the doctor suggested him for revision on right ear to make dry and better hearing.
He agreed for surgery but he was alone, and it is impossible to call his family members to Pokhara from Rolpa, because of at home small children, goat, chicken and farm. He tried to find someone to look after but could not found any relative, so we consider his surgery without any family members and relative, and we arranged to look after him after surgery. If client’s dos not have relative and family members it is impossible to do surgery at other hospital but we did because according to INF value is hope and which is impossible to make possible.
The client is fine and feeling grateful with doctors and staff.

-- + --

25th March 2016, Good Friday

About 3pm today we (Dr Sanjaya, Mr Surjit Sen and myself Ekadev) were at Bagar in Pokhara, we were planned to go somewhere to celebrate the Good Friday 2016, but my cell phone bell is ringing and the phone call was from the Hospital the security man (Manoj) was calling to inform about the postop patients from Tansen Rampur which is one full day journey by public bus to Pokhara. Therefore we decided to go to Hospital to manage postop which was done two weeks back by Dr Sanjaya and we called him to remove the pack from his post op ear and fill Neosporin ointment in to the post op ear. After removed the pack The post op was looks good and we filled Neosporin in to his ear and gave him a 10 ml Ciproflox D drop to put in to his ear after a week for one week and we advised him to come again after two month for final follow-up and we teach him how to care, keep clean, and dry for post op ear and other ear he came with his mom and his aunty they all were very happy from beginning, so I asked them why you are looks very happy?
The mom was started to tell us with big smile we came from far but the hospital is closed due to holiday but after a phone call you were came to hospital so fast and what you are doing is very good job for us and other people, the hospital is new, good services, and low cost therefore we are very happy and we will tell more people about your hospital services and good job by hospital staff.
After that comment we three also very happy and we felt so grateful, same time we three agreed this is the “GOOD FRIDAY” and felt challenge because we should keep continues good job and more development in future to keep people happiness.


The day everyone has been waiting for finally arrived on Tuesday 3rd November 2015.

Ann Dingle reports from the Ear Hospital Dedication and Inauguration Ceremony:

It has taken years of dedicated fundraising and many months of hard work, but on Tuesday morning the sun was shining for the opening of the Ear Hospital and Training Centre on the Green pastures compound in Pokhara.

A significant number of dignitaries arrived as well as past and present INF members and visiting well-wishers. They were entertained to speeches from all of the key contributors and dancing from Nepali children. A multi-coloured bougainvillea was ceremonially planted above the inscribed dedication plaques to mark the opening.

The building looks magnificent and solidly built to last. The attention to detail and craftsmanship is evident and both externally and internally it is a fine building (
pictures) that has the potential to deliver the highest quality of care for many years to come.

Sadly the container of medical equipment for furbishing the hospital remains in Calcutta, it’s final leg of the journey prevented by the border closure. The non-medical furnishings have been sourced by many trips to the bazaar or built by local craftsmen and the final result is spacious well-equipped rooms.

A large UK and Swiss team arrived for the opening of the hospital and to run the planned autumn camp from the new building. The current border closure resulting from a disagreement relating to the Nepali constitution has caused significant fuel shortages. Road travel has become very difficult -
vehicles queue for days for fuel - and people are not willing to travel because of expense and risk of not getting in home for Tihar, the festival at the end of next week. In addition there is no longer cooking fuel available and cooking by wood fire adds to the daily burden of the Nepali family. As a result whilst we are seeing a steady trickle of patients attending the hospital, we are not yet seeing the numbers that we would usually see on a traditional camp. We anticipate that this will increase as the reputation of the hospital grows.

Surgery in the new operating theatre has commenced. The facilities are luxurious compared to the normal environment of camps and the surgical staff are having to get used to the comfortable surroundings. The sound proofed rooms that the audiology department have allows for significantly more accurate testing, even before the arrival of the formal testing booths that are in the container in Calcutta.

There are dedicated rooms for out patient consultation, syringing of ears and pre-operative hair shaves - the usual noise is remarkably reduced.

The three well appointed wards have already been used for males, females and children and there are private rooms for future paying patients.

The opening camp will run until next week and the hospital will then continue to see and operate on patients. There are still a multitude of operational issues that will need considering as the work gets underway, and we hope that the presence of the large team will serve to identify and solve some of these issues for Mike for the months ahead.

You can see a photo album of the day's events
here, a photo tour of the hospital here and learn how the Ear Hospital was built in 60 seconds here!

05 Honored guests

Honoured Guests
INF chairman: RC Timothy
Regional Administrator: Kedar Bahadur Adhikari
Regional Health Director: Dr Taranath Paudel
Former INF director: Dr Deependra Gautam
INF Nepal Director: Dr Prem Subedi
INFs International Director: Chris Drew

08 Tree planting ceremony

Tree planting ceremony
Former INF director: Dr Deependra Goutam
INF chairman: RC Timothy
Regional Health Director: Dr Taranath Paudel
INF Nepal Director: Dr Prem Subedi
SON: Dr Lukas Eberle
Ear Hospital Manager: Eka Dev Devkota
EAN Chairman and Hospital Director: Dr Mike Smith
SON: Peter Linggi

21 SON Team

SON: Peter Linggi
SON: Dr Lukas Eberle
SON: Christina Furrer

22 SON team

Donor Victorinox: Silvia Brander
Ear Hospital Manager: Eka Dev Devkota
SON: Dr Lukas Eberle
SON: Peter Linggi
SON: Christina Furrer

03 Honored guests

Regional Health Director: Dr Taranath Paudel
SON: Peter Linggi
SON: Dr Lukas Eberle
Regional Administrator: Kedar Bahadur Adhikari
Former INF director: Dr Deependra Goutam
INF chairman: RC Timothy
INF Nepal Director: Dr Prem Subedi
INFs International Director: Chris Drew
EAN Chairman and Hospital Director: Dr Mike Smith
Hearing Project Nepal: Mr David Hine



From the front line ...

I have bought a few items for the hospital - bedding, towels, buckets and brushes! We have made sticky labels with the Ear Aid Nepal logo and are fixing these onto items Ear Aid Nepal will have paid for. We are also embroidering the logo onto the bedding. The idea was to show some visibility for EAN’s contribution. We have done the same for Swiss SON items, which is almost all the furniture.


I have had contact with the ‘Carestream' rep in Kathmandu, Tom arranged this, he is supplying me with information about a small CT scanner for the ear and other ENT problems. It seems it may be possible to get one here from them, which would be fantastic. We do not have costs yet, but it seems achievable.

We are very busily preparing for all the team arriving on Sunday and the camp and first use of the hospital on Monday. Although it is a great shame that the container is not here yet, we still have a place to be very pleased with.

We get lots of phone calls asking when we will open. I really hope that patients can get here OK, the country is in shut down.

Click above to watch the video of just one of the many motorbike queues!

There are huge queues for the tiny amount of fuel that gets in and there is no cooking gas. Food outlets are almost all using fire wood.


Roads are very quiet. There may be some fuel coming in from China soon as the Indian border is virtually closed and the government has just signed an agreement. Black market is getting some in, but vehicles have burned due to people smuggling containers of fuel! Police are stopping any buses, motorbikes etc and confiscating any fuel containers.

w engraving-one-od-the-plaques-for-the-donor-memorial-on-black-granite
Engraving one of the plaques for the donor memorial on black granite

Lots of things to talk to team about and big day on Tuesday with local bigwigs coming to opening and lots of speeches no doubt. Dreading that! We tried getting ambassadors etc here but the British one is new and only gives his credentials next week, plus they do not want to travel during the fuel crisis.

All for now,