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Health Care in Tibet /Yushu



Remote Tibetan mothers have a 1 in 15 chance of dying in pregnancy or delivery -- 3 x riskier than a US soldier in Afghanistan. Most births are unattended. 1 in 5 children die before the age of 2. The reason is lack of access to quality care. Surmang Clinic has reduced infant and maternal mortality to zero. This project will support and expand that work, by increasing access to quality care and end or significantly decrease infant and maternal mortality through attended births.

What is the issue, problem, or challenge?

Yushu is part of the "ultra-poor" region of China. Far from China's economic miracle, Tibetan farmers and nomads earn less that US15 cents/day. With little access to healthcare and poorly trained providers where there is help, they have have world-record high diseases such as TB, hepatitis, upper GI, and upper respiratory ailments. Chief among these are maternal and infant mortality. Here a woman has a 1 in 15 chance of dying before delivery, 3x riskier than a US soldier in Afghanistan.

How will this project solve this problem?

By creating appropriate health solutions, and the buy-in of nomadic and farming stakeholders. Our docs are highly trained local heroes; a corps of 40 Community Health Workers is embedded in their communities, pro-actively bringing health to their patients and assist in births. Our clinic has been in existence for 20 years. In the past 10 years we've treated over 150,000 patients for free. Including meds. In 2011 we've reduced infant and maternal mortality to zero. We will expand that network.

Potential Long Term Impact

The dissolution of the family due to maternal mortality is a principal cause of of poverty among rural Tibetans. Introducing community-based health promotion that honors indigenous culture, and economic realities, working with government and monastic stakeholders, we will expand our successful health interface from Surmang to 4 additional townships & their villages. We'll make access to user-friendly health a part of the rural Tibetan life. We'll change the face of rural health care in China.

Funding Information

Total Funding Received to Date: $35,256
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $39,744
Total Funding Goal: $75,000

Additional Documentation

This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).


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Surmang Foundation

Boulder, CO, United States

Project Leader

Lee Weingrad

Beijing, Beijing China

Where is this project located?

Map of Health Care in Tibet /Yushu
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