About MeRO

In January 2021,  Nepal Healthcare Equipment Development Organisation (NHEDF) became Medical Rehabilitation Organisation or MeRO for short.

NHEDF’s history: MeRO is a not-for-profit organisation founded by the most wonderful biomedical engineer in the whole wide world called Samrat. It is registered with the Social Welfare Council in Nepal (SWC Affiliation number 53349) which means it is subject to government regulations and requirements established to promote good governance, accountability and transparency.Two men with leg braces

Before the earthquake NHEDF used to be a not-for-profit organisation recycling broken biomedical equipment and returning it to hospitals and individuals in working order (hence the name). 

That all changed after the devastating earthquake in April 2015 when the premises evolved quickly into a medical shelter staffed by volunteers and established for people being discharged from hospital way too early to make room for more. Samrat thought the Shelter, as it came to be known, would only be needed for 3 months or so, but over successive weeks, months and then years, patients simply kept coming.

Initially people came with earthquake related injuries and then with trauma from other causes and then NHEDF also accepted people who were simply sick with a life-changing diagnosis. The name stuck, and because of their wonderful reputation in Nepal, Samrat was understandably reluctant to change it.

Over the years , thanks to the incredible consistent support from generous donors both in Nepal, Australia and all around the world, a sense of security developed and the general consensus was that NHEDF was here to stay. A decision was made to change the name to better reflect what NHEDF actually does, so NHEDF became MeRO. This was a lengthy process requiring registration as a new organisation.

Mission, aims and objectives: Nothing else has changed other than the name – the mission, aims and objectives remain the same – to provide access to medical care, surgical intervention, nursing care, physiotherapy and rehabilitation services for people who experience life changing illness or injury and cannot access the above due to poverty.

Samrat and patients at NHEDF saying 'Namaste'

WHAT DOES MeRO DO?  They improve health outcomes by enabling access to health care using funds sourced through donations and grants, both locally and internationally. MeRO receives support from us and another organisation in the Netherlands called Care4Nepal who rent a multi-story building known as the Shelter. This is a home-away- from-home for up to 20 patients and their care-givers, most of whom come from remote regions. Many are heavily in debt by the time they come to MeRO’s Shelter and all have no one else to turn to and nowhere else to go. Patient numbers are determined by funding and everything is free – food, treatment, medications – everything.

We used to have a separate project for women with obstetric fistula but since February 2019, this has been integrated into the work of NHEDF, who prior to COVID were able to manage and coordinate the often complex care needs for women with obstetric fistula. We look forward to this starting up again when COVID settles as much surgery was cancelled and these women could not travel.

HOW DOES ROADS TO REHAB NEPAL SUPPORT MeRO?   We support MeRO’s work in many ways. Our Nurse and Physiotherapist Sponsorship Programs pay the wages of their three nurses and physiotherapist; we fund as much as we can of the monthly pharmacy bill which provides patients with essential medications, medical equipment and supplies; we help out with the costs of medical and surgical treatment and provide mentorship, advice, friendship, funding for ongoing professional development for clinical staff, and help with other activities of their organisation as required.

Since the earthquake in 2015, approximately 1000 patients of all ages, ethnic groups, religions, castes and gender have come through the doors of the Shelter, and their lives have been changed forever.    

Visit the patient story section of this website for some special stories.

HOW DOES IT  WORK?  MeRO receives referrals from individuals or hospitals throughout Nepal. Patients who meet admission criteria either go directly to the Shelter, or are transferred there from hospital. A multi-disciplinary team, including three full-time nurses and a physiotherapist provide around the clock nursing care, physiotherapy and rehabilitation services in a professional, nurturing, supportive caring family environment. Patients are taken to hospital for follow-up appointments, are re-admitted if required, and stay at the Shelter for as long as necessary.

MeRO employs a security guard and a part-time cook. Each patient is required to be accompanied by a care-giver, usually a family member to attend their personal care, as is customary in Nepal.

Patients care-givers, and patients themselves, when they are able, look after all the practical aspects of the Shelter – cooking, cleaning, shopping, gardening, laundry etc leaving Samrat to advocate for them and negotiate the many challenges of coordinating patient care within an expensive, complex and sometimes corrupt medical system. 

The Shelter is run by the Board, and all do an amazing job. 

Your support can change the life of a patient at MeRO’s Shelter who has experienced life changing injury or illness and has no one else to turn to and nowhere else to go. We welcome all donations no matter how small (or large!)- click here to make a donation. Thank you