Care in the middle of chaos

As the founder of the charity Backpacker Medics, he was in a good position to help out.

Since founding the organisation in 2012, Mr Burns has made many trips to Nepal with teams of paramedics to provide healthcare and to help up-skill local healthcare workers.

They have also built a medical clinic in Kerasawara, Olkhadhunga District, which was not damaged in the earthquake.

After hearing about the disaster, Mr Burns gathered a team of six volunteer paramedics and a firefighter, and flew into the Himalayan country three days after the earthquake.

�After landing, the seven of us loaded into the back of a ute with our supplies and headed out into the countryside,� he said.

�A lot of the villages that we came to had been completely flattened and hadn�t received any outside help since the quake.

�We would roll up, and within 15 minutes we would be treating patients. Then a few hours later we would pack up and be on our way to the next village.�

Mr Burns said most of the work they were doing was follow-up care for the injured.

�A lot of people had been bandaged up after they were injured, but then they hadn�t received any further care, so we were treating a lot of secondary infections,� he said.

About 300 people were treated during the team�s seven-day visit.

�The Nepalese people are so welcoming and friendly, even people whose homes had been completely flattened were trying to offer us cups of tea,� he said.

�It�s just devastating seeing the destruction, the clean-up is going to be such a huge job. The consoling factor is that every little bit of support that we can offer helps.�

Backpacker Medics recently held a fundraising event, Organised Chaos.

To donate to the earthquake relief fund, visit www.backpackermedics.com.