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 Clinic
Baby Clinic

Dear Friends and Supporters

From previous reports you are well aware of the difficulties of working in such a remote area as Humla. It's a fact of life for the inhabitants  who are adapted to the many difficulties of surviving in this mountainess district. The Nepal Trust is lucky to have an excellent delivery partner in Self Help Initiative Promotion Centre Nepal (SHIP-Nepal) who are working in the 8 health posts constructed and supplied by the Nepal Trust, under the guidance of the District Health Officer.

Following are some extracts from a Field Report provided by SHIP-Nepal covering the period 2019 to 2022. It has been edited to improve readability. It will give you an indication of how successful our intervention has been in improving general health standards, particularly at a time of a global pandemic.

Background: Humla is a remote Himalayan district. The Nepal government has not been able to provide health services in all areas. The local government here is also weak. Due to public awareness and lack of finances, many people here get sick. Before this, many people died prematurely if they did not receive timely medical treatment. The average life expectancy of the people here is 50 to 60 years. With the financial support of The Nepal Trust and NDF since 2019 Self Help Initiative Promotion Center (SHIP-Nepal) Humla has been providing medicine and health services at birthing centers in Limi, Yari, Kermi, Bargaon, Sarkegad, Piplang, Tumcha and Maspur.

Through this program, to prevent the spread of the epidemic of COVID-19 at the community level, COVID-19 materials, medicine and health services were provided. This program has so far been successful in controlling the spread of COVID-19 at the community level.

Due to regular health services through birthing centers, mothers, children and the elderly did not die prematurely. At present, the local government and people are very happy with this program or donor. He says that this program is related to the survival of poor people. They have requested to continue the health program. SHIP Nepal Humla will be dedicated for successful implementation if financial support from donor agencies is continuously available.

Before the health program was implemented.

  1. Before 1999 in Humla district, the government of Nepal provided health services only in limited places including the district hospital. When a person was sick, he would be carried to the district hospital. Some died on the way and some died without treatment. But this was not possible for the poor people.
  2. At that time, when people were sick, they used herbal medicine according to local custom.
  3. It was customary to give child birth at home unsafely and many mothers and children were at risk of life and death.
  4. During that period only the Nepal Trust provided regular health services. People suffered from many types of diseases and there was little or no information about medical treatments.
  5. Among the eight birthing centers currently being run by The Nepal Trust and SHIP Nepal, there was the only government health post in Sarkegad before 1999 where general medicine treatment was available.

Achievements:

  1. With the financial support of Nepal Trust, regular health services were provided after the construction of health posts in Maspur, Tumcha, Piplang, Kermi and Yari. Now the Nepal government has established and recognized all health posts formal health care is provided.
  2. After providing regular health services at the health post, the number of patients and deaths at the community level has decreased.
  3. Since births started at the birthing centers the health of mother and child has improved and there has been no death of mother or child.This is a very important achievement.
  4. Due to increased awareness of health and sanitation at the community level, outbreaks of diseases and the number of infected people have decreased. 
  5. Due to increased awareness of health and sanitation at the community level, outbreaks of diseases and the number of infected people have decreased. This is very good indicator of health program.
  6. Earlier, everyone gave birth at home, so there were no facilities. Now everyone gives birth at the Birthing Canter so that they get all the services provided by the government.
  7. Due to the regular facilitation of SHIP- Nepal, the health management committee has coordinated with the local government and other stakeholders to continue health services at all health posts.
  8. Before 2019, the peoples of Piplang used to walk for three hours to Pali health post and Loti medical for treatment when they were sick.Since 2020, Piplang residents have started receiving health services free of cost from Piplang health post.They said we are very happy. It has saved us life, money and time.
  9. Before 2019, the peoples of Tumcha used to walk for four hours to Jaira health post and Sarkegad medical for treatment when they were sick.Since 2020, Tumcha residents have started receiving health services free of cost from Tumcha health post. They said we are very happy. It has saved us life, money and time.
  10. Before 2019, the peoples of Maspur used to walk for one day to Maila health post and Bajura district hospital for treatment when they were sick.Since 2020, Maspur residents have started receiving health servicesfree of cost from Maspur health post. They said we are very happy. It has saved us life, money and time.
  11. With the financial support of the Nepal Trust, from 2019 to 2022, medicine, health equipment and health awareness programs were regularly provided to 8 health posts from Limi to Maspur, so there was no human loss due to the covid-19 pandemic. This is the second important achievement of the health program.

We hope these brief extracts give you some feeling for the problems of living and working in Humla, a beautiful but very harsh environment. The people, Buddhist and Hindu, have adapted over centuries but suddenly face major changes to their way of life. They have successfully managed to curb the spread of Covid but must remain alert.

Thank you for all your help and support and we hope you can continue to support our work and spread the news to all your friends and colleagues. Every penny you send will go to helping these beautiful people to adapt to modern life.

Best wishes and Namaste

Restocking with medicines
Restocking with medicines
Local Health Committee
Local Health Committee
Fresh medicines on the way.
Fresh medicines on the way.
Consultation
Consultation
Receiving vaccination
Receiving vaccination
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A new born baby.
A new born baby.

Dear Friends and Supporters

I hope you are all well and managing to deal with the horrendous Covid pandemic which seems to be hanging around. It is causing big disruptions in all aspects of our lives and bringing grief to many. Imagine living in one of the remotest corners of the world with only minimal health services to support you. This is, unfortunately, the reality of living in Humla in NW Nepal. For a long time its remoteness and isolation was an advantage and the virus was kept at arms length but this has changed with a serious outbreak at Kermi where we have an health clinic. A large number of infections have occured and a number of deaths although it is not yet clear if these are Covid related. Our excellent delivery partner, SHIP, will report once they have more evidence. Nationwide the government is trying to contain the virus against difficult odds. To date there has been nearly 1million confirmed cases and there has been 12000 deaths.

On the wider health front our partner SHIP continues to provide an excellent service at our 8 clinics and birthing centres - Limi, Yari, Kermi, Bargaun, Sarkegad, Piplang, Tumcha and Maspur - all operating under the watchful eye of the government and the Humla District Health Officer and local village health committees.

The main health problems are very closely related to basic unhealthy living conditions. Salmonella, gastro enteritis, worms and diarrhoea together with other food and waterborne diseases are very prevalent. Respiratory diseases such as asthma are common and a reflection of living in smoky homes. Skin and ENT infections are very common. Children under 5 years of age suffer widely from diarrhea, worms, ear infections and pneumonia. Our very popular Little Doctors health training programme for 10-15 year old school pupils was popular and very effective  in changing  and improving general health. Unfortunately, schools have been closed for 2 years and the programme has been stopped for now. We hope to start again soon. Family planning advice and support is becoming more popular and helping to reduce the problem for poor families of too many mouths to feed.

Thanks to all of you for your help and support. We hope you can stay with us as we try to navigate  difficult times. We are making a difference by spreading knowledge and help in this remote area. Tell your friends about us and try and encourage them to chip in as well. We do struggle to keep our heads above the financial pond  so any support is very welcome.

Namaste  

Blood pressure check
Blood pressure check
Health clinic committee.
Health clinic committee.
Checking baby
Checking baby
Weighing baby
Weighing baby
Piplang field staff.
Piplang field staff.
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Getting weighed
Getting weighed

Dear Friends and Supporters

The Covid pandemic in Nepal appears to be relaxing and the number of infections is decreasing. It is early days yet and extreme caution is still required. The porous border with India ia a big problem as economic migrants move backwards and forwards to earn money for their families. The Nepal government has launched a nationwide drive to inoculate all 12 to 17 year olds to help control the virus. 

We are happy to report that the virus appears to be under control in our target area of Humla and the infection rate has fallen with no further deaths. Our delivery partner, SHIP-Nepal is doing an excellent job providing health and Covid services to our 8 clinics and birthing centres in Humla; the most remote and deprived area of Nepal.

SHIPs latest report shows that over a one month period nearly 2000 female  and 1800 males have received treatment including specialist health camps to deliver Covid vaccines and virus testing facilities.

The main health issues and disorders are still due to respitory and stomach problems. Our Little Doctors Health Education project  has been a major contributor in controlling these problems as school students take home basic health knowledge to their families. Over the years we have seen a large drop in the number of cases and a noticeable improvement in general health. Unfortunately schools have been closed for nearly two years and we have not been able to conduct these valuable learning experiences and a consequece has been a rise in basic health problems. We hope this state of affairs will change soon.

The Nepal Trust would like to thank you all for your help and support over the years and we wish you good health and happiness for the future. Please keep telling your friends about us and how we are helping and supporting one of the remotest communities in the world.

With our best wishes for 2022.

Namaste 

Booster jab
Booster jab
Weighing baby
Weighing baby
Covid Testing
Covid Testing
Checking baby
Checking baby
Staff Meeting
Staff Meeting
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Delivering medical supplies.
Delivering medical supplies.

Dear friends and supporters.

For all of us the Covid19 virus has created all sorts of problems and made life so much more difficult. Imagine how it must be in Humla, one of the remotest corners of the world. Nationwide Nepal has an expanding infection rate and has only 12% of the population fully vaccinated. There is now a real concern that a third wave of infection will happen particularly as the build up to the main festival season of Desai and Tihar develops. 

Humla District is the remotest part of Nepal and not easily accessable except by foot or by a small plane if you can afford it. The good news is that Humla has one of the lowest Covid infection rates in the country. We believe that our childrens health education programme, Little Doctors, has contributed to wider health awareness amongst families and siblings and helped to keep the infection rate low. 

Since our last report the weather has improved, making travelling easier and allowing access to the more remote clinics. Infection rates show that about 1000 people have been infected with Covid  with only one death. 425 have received vaccination. Our 8 clinics have been very active  with other treatments and over 2800 patients have been recorded. In addition nearly 2000 have received other medical services. 

Our 8 clinics through our delivery partner SHIP is supporting the governments efforts to limit the spread of Covid by strengthening the local health system and its workers. This cooperation is invaluable and helping the local Health officer to manage under difficult circumstances and limited resources. As soon as the schools can get back to full function our Little Doctors health education programme can start again and help to establish real health awareness.

Many thanks to all of you that have supported us in the past. Without your help over the years we could not have achieved much in such a remote and difficult to access area. It is such a beautiful part of the world and deserves your help; perhaps you can spread the word amongst your friends and colleagues?

Namaste

  

Medical supplies to be sorted.
Medical supplies to be sorted.
Patient treatment.
Patient treatment.
Health Clinic store
Health Clinic store
Receiving vaccination
Receiving vaccination
Vaccination (2)
Vaccination (2)
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Maspur, waiting treatment.
Maspur, waiting treatment.

We have to keep going.

Dear Friends and Supporters

Due to the soaring Covid-19 numbers in Kathmandu and some other major cities in the country like Nepalgunj, the government has announced a strict order of prohibitions that is very similar to a fully imposed lockdown. From several hundreds of cases a day the figure has risen to 3-4,000 daily in Kathmandu and all shops have been closed and vehicle movement is strictly forbidden.

Remarkably, and unusual for this time of the year, there has been heavy snowfall in Humla cutting off trails and flight movement in general. Humla has witnessed more and more Covid-19 cases in the last months and although one can argue the restricted movement of people due to snowfall makes it less likely for people to spread the pandemic, it also makes treatment and getting necessary supplies into Humla to deal with the pandemic and healthcare, in general, more challenging, especially as Humla, for the main part, depends on cities like Nepalgunj to fly in goods.

In the last winter months of 2020, a time when people barely travel around, about 900 people have been treated through our clinics with an additional 225 people treated in the health hub of Kermi village where one of our clinics is located.

This shows that the virus has been spreading throughout the district and although the government has started a vaccination rollout program, we must be cautious and keep working to press down the potential surges that could have a devastating effect. Especially as Nepal depends on the supply of vaccinations from nearby neighbors such as India and China there is a chronic shortage of vaccines available and it may take time to have everybody vaccinated against Covid 19. During this period the risk of getting the virus remains quite severe and all people, including health workers and development workers, must remain extra careful.

In India the situation is getting worse even more, with daily cases of over 2-300,000 in Delhi alone. Due to this the air traffic to and from India has been blocked by many countries and many Indians have been using Nepal as a ‘transit heaven’ to conduct flights to other nations. This has alarmed the Nepal government who have, in response, blocked transit travellers from India. In all it is getting worse and we hope we won’t have to face a similar situation as last year, in which the country locked down for over 10 months.

While the economy was slowly getting back on to its feet again this renewed government lock-down is having a major impact on daily wage earners in industry, trade, and tourism. Foreign employment and development works have all been stopped.

 

Despite all this we have continued our work with SHIP Nepal to provide healthcare in Humla through provision of staff, essential supplies and medicines for treatment of patients and assist the government in its Covid-19 prevention program.

As you may appreciate any help is welcome in order to continue this work that helps people who otherwise would have limited options to seek treatment, if not at all. We are very grateful for all your support and help in the past but Covid waits for no man and we must work harder than ever in this remote and impoverished corner of the Himalayas. Please help if you can and tell your friends about us. We need you all more than ever, as we have to keep going!

Namaste

Bargaun, treating an injury.
Bargaun, treating an injury.
Kermi, Restocking medicines and materials.
Kermi, Restocking medicines and materials.
Sarkegad, Delivering medicines and materials.
Sarkegad, Delivering medicines and materials.
Sarkegad, getting treatment.
Sarkegad, getting treatment.
Limi, our remotest health clinic.
Limi, our remotest health clinic.
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The Nepal Trust

Location: Glasgow, Scotland - United Kingdom
Website:
Project Leader:
Tony Sharpe
Elgin, Moray United Kingdom
$80,667 raised of $90,000 goal
 
755 donations
$9,333 to go
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