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Upendra Devkota: Nepal’s first neurosurgeon

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: (Published 04 October 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k4126
  1. Terence Hope, consultant neurosurgeon
  1. University Hospital Nottingham, UK

On the morning of 25 April 2015 Nepal was hit by an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, causing the deaths of nearly 9000 people. It was typical of Upendra Devkota that within hours he was able to care for hundreds of people in the grounds of his hospital, giving food and shelter for weeks. The area around his birthplace of Gorka was particularly affected, but within days he had organised a health camp.

When his daughters were asked what they particularly associated with their father, they answered “serving and always trying to do his best.”

Early life and career

Upendra was born into a poor family in the remote area of Gorka, where his father was an Ayurvedic physician. One of six children, he was educated at a new missionary school to which he often returned in later life. There were no roads or electricity. He was always proud of his origins and the fact that, as a good Brahmin, he was required to learn …

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