Healthcare & Opportunity in the Hidden Himalayas

by The Nepal Trust
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Healthcare & Opportunity in the Hidden Himalayas
Healthcare & Opportunity in the Hidden Himalayas
Healthcare & Opportunity in the Hidden Himalayas
Healthcare & Opportunity in the Hidden Himalayas
Healthcare & Opportunity in the Hidden Himalayas
Healthcare & Opportunity in the Hidden Himalayas
Healthcare & Opportunity in the Hidden Himalayas
Healthcare & Opportunity in the Hidden Himalayas
Healthcare & Opportunity in the Hidden Himalayas
Healthcare & Opportunity in the Hidden Himalayas
Healthcare & Opportunity in the Hidden Himalayas
Healthcare & Opportunity in the Hidden Himalayas
Healthcare & Opportunity in the Hidden Himalayas
Healthcare & Opportunity in the Hidden Himalayas
Healthcare & Opportunity in the Hidden Himalayas
Healthcare & Opportunity in the Hidden Himalayas
Healthcare & Opportunity in the Hidden Himalayas
Healthcare & Opportunity in the Hidden Himalayas
Healthcare & Opportunity in the Hidden Himalayas
Healthcare & Opportunity in the Hidden Himalayas
Healthcare & Opportunity in the Hidden Himalayas
Baby care
Baby care

Dear Friends and Supporters

Despite the on-going trauma of Covid 19 and the ever present danger of a rapid spread of infection our work in Humla is having a very positive result. Our implementation partner, Self Help Initiative Promotion Centre (SHIP), have reported successful control of Covid-19 spread throughout the district; particularly in the 8 clinics they are responsible for. More importantly, there have been no deaths from the virus so far. This is a remarkable result given the remoteness of Humla and the major difficulties of procuring and sourcing PPE and medical items. During lock-down the Trust was given government permission to fly in medication and covid prevention equipment and also permission for staff to move about the district to provide essential medical services.

However, the government lock-down is having an impact on daily wage earners. Industries, trade, tourism, foreign employment and development works have all been stopped. The cost of goods transported by plane have increased so the poor and unemployed have found it difficult to eat properly. This leads to malnourishment and a greater risk of disease. Humla is a food deficient district anyway so any disruption in the food chain will create problems.

The government system would have found it very difficult to manage without the help and support of the Nepal Trust. Our staff were incorporated in to the system to boost trained manpower capacity. Funds were also handed over to help the government system struggling under national financial limitations.

Outwith the pandemic our clinics, under the control of SHIP have had to deal with normal everyday health issues. During the 3 months September to November they have dealt with 4269 cases successfully. In addition 1067 Covid cases were recorded of which 120 were put in to quaranteen. No deaths from Covid have been recorded.

These are very difficult times and I must thank our staff for their devotion to hard, and dangerous, work. Humla is beautiful but not for the faint hearted. It is remote and difficult to get around; virtually isolated from the outside world. Thank you for all your help and support which is much needed at this difficult time. Please help if you can and tell your friends. We need you all more than ever!

Our best wishes for the New Year and a sincere hope that it gets better soon. We all need a break!

Namaste

Weighing baby
Weighing baby
Covid testing
Covid testing
Hand washing
Hand washing
Patient care
Patient care
Covid testing
Covid testing
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In the Covid clinic
In the Covid clinic

Dear Friends and supporters

In Nepal the number of people infected with the Corona virus is still rising. The district we work in,Humla, is at the lower end of infections but at high risk due to the more heavily infected districts  to the south and bordering India. We are working very hard with our local partner SHIP and the local District Health Officer to keep on top of the situation and curb its spread.

SHIP is distributing PPE and medicines to 8 district medical centres to keep Humla one of the safest districts but we are continually aware of the risks from adjoining districts and returning migrant workers desperate to get back to their home villages. We work closely with local government to ensure all restrictions and protocols are observed. Humla is a very remote district and economically one of the poorest; food deficient and access is difficult. The virus is not what they need on top of everything else they struggle with.

One of the factors that has helped to keep infection rates low in Humla is the result of our child health education programme Little Doctors which has improved overall health standards. There has been a very noticeable decrease in the incidence of stomach and respiritory health disorders. Little Doctors has been running for about 20 years and its students have taken their new knowledge back to their families.

Earlier this year one of our Belgium corporate partners, who source herbal ingredients from the Himalayas for their cosmetic products, made a visit to Humla to see for themselves the impact that Little Doctors is making on life in the Hidden Himalayas. Following is a report they made after their visit.

 

Humla is situated in the northern part of Nepal, close to the border with Tibet, that makes the trip towards it sort of exciting. We arrived at the Simikot airport in a tiny airplane. The airport resides at an elevation of 2,800m above sea level.  And the runway is not very long to say the least. Result: you can still see two crashed airplanes next to the runway (fortunately there were no victims!).

But we don’t complain, because the best alternative to get there is to walk 8 days by foot through the mountains starting at the closest road. The remote location of Humla is a key decision why we as CÎME wanted to support a school project here. Humla is thought to be one of the poorest regions in the world. The people here are dependent on the import of rice to survive the freezing winters, the average life expectancy is about 58 years and an estimated 1 out of 3 children dies before their 12th birthday.

One of the key solutions to this problem is to invest in the education of the local population. That is exactly what the NGO Nepal Trust does with the ‘Little Doctors’ schooling project. In the framework of this project, school children in Humla between the age of 11 and 16-year-old are being taught on aspects such as hygiene, health, aid and nutrition. The young teens are being educated to be ‘Little Doctors’ that pass on their learned knowledge to family, friends and members of the community. For every CÎME product that goes over the counter, a part of the proceedings goes to the training of ‘Little Doctors’.

The ‘Little Doctors’ projects seems to be big fun! The Little Doctors as well as the teachers seem to be very enthusiastic about the program and how much impact it has on their daily life.

Student Sarita: “First, we received one month of theoretical classes and afterwards the practical lessons. Those are the most fun. Then we can assist in the Health Post (The Nepal Trust in Humla has built 7 healthcare facilities, where people can get first aid and healthcare). We are allowed to heal burned marks and dog bites and we also help with vaccination.”

Student Prakriti: “We all receive a first aid kit, with basic tools such as scissors, disinfectant, bandage and diarrhea medication. We are allowed to take this home with us, but we can also use these at school. We are called in when one of the other students gets hurt on the playground to take care of them.”

If we ask the students what they want to become when they grow up, the most popular answer is a doctor or a nurse. This does not come falling from the sky. Part of the staff in the only hospital of Humla has followed the Little Doctors project when they were young.

However not all students want to become doctors.

Student Tejendra: “I don’t want to become a doctor.  I want to become a farmer and stay in this area.”

Jaya Bam, teacher in English and Vice-president of the school in Simikot: “For students like Tejendra, the Little Doctors program is also interesting. That’s what makes the project so beautiful. The information that they learn has the potential to improve the life circumstances of the students and their respective families because they learn practical information that is of important value for their state of health.”

We were very impressed by the work the Nepal Trust has done in this remote region and are proud to be able to contribute to this beautiful project.

 

The Nepal Trust hopes that providing health education to children and others in the local communities will improve life chances and build a healthy resilience in this hard and unremitting part of the world.

The Trust would like to thank you for all your support and help for this project but, as you can see, it is not easy now that Covid-19 has moved in! We will still need  help and support to get us through these difficult times and to keep on track our objective to fully handover an effective and fully working health system. Please pass on our latest news to your friends and colleagues and encourage them to support us.

Thank you and Namaste

Covid testing
Covid testing
Covid checking
Covid checking
Healthy youngsters
Healthy youngsters
Little Doctors class
Little Doctors class
First Aid
First Aid
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Dear friends and supporters

We hope you are all keeping well at this difficult time. Restrictions and lock-downs are a necessary part of life at the moment if we are to pull through safely.

Imagine the added difficulties of living in one of the remotest corners of the world with no easy access to frontline support. That is the reality of living in Humla in the far north west of Nepal bordering China/Tibet and officially the poorest district in Nepal. There are no roads to access services further south and air travel is limited and too expensive for the majority of inhabitants. However, these resileant people have survived centuries  of dealing with disasters of all sorts and are doing so now with a remarkable spirit.They have embraced the government restrictions and are doing all they can to ensure their safety. But,they are surrounded by possible hazards and must be forever vigilant.

The government has set up a special fund - District Covid19 Prevention and Control Fund - to help support government clinics in each Rural Municipality (RM) to provide necessary medicines and equipment. The Nepal Trust contributed NRs 110000 and our implementation partner, Self Help Initiative Promotion Centre-Nepal (SHIP), NRs 55000.

SHIP, who manage our 5 clinics, have carried out a full survey and awareness programme providing all necessary medicines, materials and equipment. The exception is the clinic in the remote Limi valley because the high passes were still impassable but this will be rectified very soon as the trails open up. SHIP have also established Help Desks and Quarantine facilities at each site.

The Nepal government have managed very well to keep a cap on the overall infection rate and, as I write, there are only 120 infected people and no deaths in the whole country. This is quite remarkable given the country's location sandwiched between China and India. However, there is sufficient evidence to suggest more cases are arriving in the country as migrant workers return and attempt to get back to their home villages. This is the case as infection rates are increasing in the likes of Nepalgunj and Surkhet south of Humla. More severe travel lock-downs in these areas will have an enormous impact on travel to, and in, Humla.

The Chinese government have closed the border with Humla and stopped all cross boarder activity. This has already had a severe impact on the local economy. Cross border trade is a major economic lifeline for the villages of north Humla. Malnutrition and starvation are already becoming evident and expected to get worse. We are expecting requests for help as the situation gets worse.It is very important that we all remain very vigilant and help these fragile and remote communities to survive the pandemic.

We know that requests for help are everywhere and it is difficult to prioritise from limited resources but if you can help with a donation we would be very grateful. We expect the demands on our resources to increase as the pandemic takes a firmer hold. Please tell your friends and colleagues about the foregotten parts of the world like the 'Hidden Himalayas' and encourage them to support us. 

Namaste.

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Ackowledgement
Ackowledgement

Dear Friends and Supporters.

Back in 2017 we had initial discussions with the Humla District Health Officer (DHO) about the possibility of providing health services to south Humla with the provision of improved health clinics. South Humla is very remote and many days walk north or south to functioning health clinics and other services. Impossible for many.

After much discussion with the DHO and village health committees it was agreed that the Trust would build new clinics at three locations  in the southern half of Humla to maximise health delivery and improve efficiency. Sites were chosen in the villages of Maspur, Tumcha and Piplang. These three sites cover a population of 12331 villagers of which 41% are children. Each clinic would also be upgraded to Birthing Centres to improve life chances for mothers and babies; something that these remote village people had never had leading to one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world.

I am very proud and excited to tell you that these three clinics have now been built and function as part of the government system under the control of the DHO and his staff. Each clinic has a Birthing centre fully equiped, stocked, furnished and managed by fully trained staff. All clinics include toilet and sanitation facilities designed for easy maintenance and a canteen and kitchen block to provide meals for patients and staff. Clean fresh drinking water is on tap and appropriate garbage and waste disposal have been provided.

Solar panels now provide light and power never been seen before in this part of Nepal. Solar powered fridges at each clinic ensure that vaccines can be safely stored.

Each clinic will provide health training programmes that will raise awareness of basic health issues and give simple solutions. This is the approach used in our Little Doctors  project which has been very successful.

All of this is a major achievement in a part of the world that it can take days of hard trekking to reach from any direction. It is also a remarkable achievement that our work over 25 years has been fully recognised by the government as a fully functioning contributor to the national health system. This includes not only the 3 Clinics but our other five clinics in central and north Humla too. We will remain for some years yet to monitor and help when necessary through our partner SHIP.

I hope you all feel as proud as I do for this wonderful achievement and many thanks for all your help and support. Without your help we couldn't have done it; simple as that. However we are still there looking to help and support where we can. We will still need your help so please donate if you can. Your friends and colleagues might also be impressed and like to help. Please ask them.

Namaste.

Health committee, clinic and NT staff
Health committee, clinic and NT staff
Maspur Birthing Centre
Maspur Birthing Centre
A patient
A patient
Piplang Birthing Centre
Piplang Birthing Centre
Piplang dispensary
Piplang dispensary
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Halji (Limi) - Our remotest clinic.
Halji (Limi) - Our remotest clinic.

Dear Friends and Supporters

Our implementation partner SHIP-NEPAL have produced their first 3-monthly report that clearly demonstrates how lifestyles and lack of basic hygiene knowledge are the principle causes of poor health in the remote mountain communities of the Hidden Himalayas. Respiratory diseases are common in smoky unventilated homes and water and food borne disorders are the result of a lack of knowledge of how basic cleanliness can prevent many health problems. 

Over the years we have seen major improvements in all these areas mainly due to our health education programmes for young people and for maternal health. Slowly but surely old ways and attitudes are changing and people are taking more personal responsibility for their health. The location of well run and staffed health clinics also helps to spot more serious disorders, such as tuberculosis, that can be treated and dealt with promptly.

A major step forward is that our Kermi and Yari clinics have now been integrated into the government health system. With Sarkegad, Bargaun and Halji this means all five Trust clinics are now part of the government system to provide a valuable health service in some of the most remote parts of Humla. This is a major improvement and we are slowly fulfilling our original objective of helping to support a unified health service.

Thank you to all of our supporters for helping to get us to this milestone. It is a truly emotional moment. Twenty years ago it was almost unimaginable as a civil war raged but a small group of local people with the help of the Trust carried on in the knowledge they would prevail. And they did!

The finishing line is still some distance as we continue to support the DHO and his staff and we will need your continuing help and support for a while yet. Please help if you can and spread the news that patience and hard work really do make a difference.

Namaste

Disease treatment.
Disease treatment.
A check-up.
A check-up.
Waiting.
Waiting.
Halji
Halji
Limi kids say thank you.
Limi kids say thank you.
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Organization Information

The Nepal Trust

Location: Glasgow, Scotland - United Kingdom
Website:
Project Leader:
Tony Sharpe
Elgin, Moray United Kingdom
$57,743 raised of $90,000 goal
 
564 donations
$32,257 to go
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