LIVES are being saved in remote Nepal thanks to a charitable foundation founded by Port Macquarie gynaecologist obstetrician Dr Ray Hodgson.
The Mid-North Coast community can play a part too.
The charitable foundation Australians for Women's Health is building a hospital for mothers and babies at Charikot in the Nepalese district of Dolakha.
Donations have brought in $50,000 towards the $500,000 fundraising target to cover the hospital construction costs.
Community members can do their bit to help through donations.
A corporate sponsor is also being sought.
The local hospital was so badly damaged in the earthquakes last year it had to be pulled down.
As a result, medical staff have been working out of tents with intermittent electricity and no running water.
Dr Hodgson said it is a problem for all patients, but particularly women whose health suffers enormously in Nepal.
The new facility will be a major teaching hospital for Nepalese doctors, surgeons, midwives, nurses and possibly physiotherapists.
Australians for Women's Health will meet the hospital construction costs and a local non-government organisation will cover the operational costs.
Dr Hodgson launched Australians for Women's Health in 2010.
It all started when Dr Hodgson spoke with a patient who had written a thesis on genital prolapse in Nepal.
Severe genital prolapse is more prevalent in Nepal than in any other country.
Dr Hodgson wanted to use his surgical skills to help women with prolapse in Nepal but came up empty in a search to find a group working on the ground there.
So Dr Hodgson started a charity which initially focused on genital prolapse.
"In order to provide sustainable improvement to the health of Nepalese women we understood it was essential to teach these surgical skills, but we soon realised Nepal has major problems with mums and babies dying from something as straightforward as pregnancy and labour," he said.
The charity expanded its focus and evolved into a teaching organisation.
Volunteers including surgeons, nurses and midwives visit Nepal three or four times a year.
They treat and educate patients, as well as teach local doctors, nurses and midwives.
The training includes teaching Nepalese midwives to perform obstetric ultrasound.
One third of women in rural Nepal deliver their babies at home where the majority of mothers and babies die.
Women who would otherwise not receive any medical care during their pregnancy or labour now frequently visit the hospital in order to receive their free obstetric ultrasound.
During the visit the women are vaccinated, receive crucial nutritional supplements, and they are screened for high conditions.
After this visit to the ultrasound clinic these women are far more likely to return for the birth of their babies.
Many supporters say their time as volunteers with Australians for Women's Health transformed their lives.
"People - both Nepalese patients and our Australian volunteers - are just so grateful it gives you a real buzz," Dr Hodgson said.
Australians for Women's Health is making a difference.
"We know already that many lives have been saved and a very large number of women who would have had to endure the misery of prolapse have had their lives transformed," Dr Hodgson said.
The foundation is researching why genital prolapse is so prevalent in Nepal.
People can support the hospital fundraiser online at by visiting www.a4wh.org and following the prompts.
All donations are tax deductible.