Rotary Club of Laurieton hosts fundraiser for gynaecologist Ray Hodgson's Nepal hospital

Building a hospital in rural Nepal sounds like a mammoth task and fundraising more than $500,000 to build a Mothers and Babies Hospital in Nepal sounds insane.

And so the idea of a specialist hospital was born. 

"The idea for the hospital first arose four years ago when we were working in the typical dilapidated buildings in the district of Dholakha," Dr Ray said.

"We were aware of the appalling state of women's health in Nepal, and over the previous four or five years we'd been patching up these problems with surgical camps in various parts of the country.

"We hadn't really been making any inroads, and the idea came of building a hospital in remote Nepal devoted specifically to women and their babies."

HARSH CONDITIONS: Ray and his team operating under torch light with no power.

HARSH CONDITIONS: Ray and his team operating under torch light with no power.

Ian Jackson from the Rotary Club of Laurieton said on the night more than $6,000 was also raised for the construction of the hospital.

"We weren't sure how many people would come but on the night we exceeded expectations to raise around $6,000 in an evening," Mr Jackson said.

"I am an the international director of our club and I really wanted to support a local doing great work overseas and Dr Ray's hospital project is a fantastic example of that.

"On the night everyone who came really wanted to support the cause and we all had a fantastic night."

Mr Jackson said the night was a great celebration of the community coming together.

"The Rotary Club of Laurieton hosted the night but it was great to see so many non-Rotarians and members of the community come along as well. Dr Ray is very well known for his work locally and overseas," he said.

"In 2017 when I was district governor of Rotary district 9650, I had Ray speak at my conference and since then I have wanted to organise something like this and for it to be as successful as it was, is amazing.

"I want to thank the committee for all their help and everyone in the community for coming along and supporting us."

 LESS THAN IDEAL: The operating room in rural Nepal Ray and his team currently use.

LESS THAN IDEAL: The operating room in rural Nepal Ray and his team currently use.

Dr Ray said he was blown away by the support from the community on the night and said every little bit of money raised helps.

"We are still raising funds for the hospital so work hasn't started yet but the majority of our funds raised has been made through small donations and every little bit helps," he said.

"Our team in Nepal have been negotiating with current landowners and we are very pleased to announce that we have secured the land and the first sod turning will happen very soon.

"The plans for the hospital have been drawn up. It's earthquake resistant, and there will be 35 beds, a modern labour ward and neonatal ward, and a first world operating theatre.

"We'll be using local builders and as far as possible, local materials for the construction."

He said it has been a long effort to raise the $500,000 to build the hospital and another $300,000 to outfit it.

"So far Australians 4 Women's Health has managed to raise $302,000 for the construction.

"The Rotary Club of Port Macquarie have also set up a Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS) project and have raised more than $60,000 towards the construction as well."

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