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
ANW Nabina Lama
ANW Nabina Lama

The following report has been written by our Medical Director, Dr David Hurman. David travelled to Humla earlier this year to observe and mentor our health projects there.

 

The B.B.C. News   (that’s Bargaun Birthing Centre)

Dr. David Hurman, Medical Director, The Nepal Trust

 

Over the last couple of years, my good friend, Tony Sharpe’s project reports have rightly concentrated on the work of the Nepal Trust (NT) and its post-earthquake recovery programme in Nepal.

However, the NT also has a long-standing commitment to Primary Health Care and the recent field trip by board members and staff to Humla, enabled us to check on the status of some of our Health Posts and also the relatively newly-developed Birthing Centres.

At the existing Health Post at Bargaun in south-east Humla, a new Birthing Centre extension was built and equipped, at the request of the local community, to provide a clean facility for the safe delivery of babies and the improved care of both mothers and babies.

Previously, traditional deliveries had tended to be performed in less than hygienic conditions, contributing to unacceptably high neonatal and maternal mortality rates.

At the Birthing Centre, Auxiliary Nurse Midwife, Nabina Lama, a local lady from Bargaun village, is trained to deliver antenatal care to prospective mothers, in addition to assisting with the safe delivery of the babies.

Postnatal care is also given and then later, advice on such matters as general maternal and child health and family planning and contraception are also offered.

Nabina told us that there had been seven deliveries at the Birthing Centre since its inception almost two years ago, all mothers and babies being fit and well with no complications. The seemingly low birth rate is perhaps a measure of success for the family planning service, although Nabina also mentioned that better-off families tended to opt for delivery in Simikot, the district HQ or even travel to Nepalganj or Kathmandu, so that the Birthing Centre perhaps tended to offer care for the more disadvantaged members of the community in Bargaun. No bad thing!

Nabina’s post is fully funded by the Nepal Trust and we also provide a regular supply of medicines to the clinic.

The Health Post sees an average of 4 – 5 patients a day, most complaining of symptoms of respiratory disease and upper gastrointestinal complaints such as heartburn and indigestion for which appropriate treatment can be given.

Many older patients have non-specific aches and pains and symptoms of general “wear and tear” reflecting the unavoidably harsh working and living conditions of their environment in this most impoverished and inaccessible part of the world.

Please continue your generous support to enable us to continue to offer help and indeed hope, where it is most needed in the “hidden Himalayas”.

........... 

Reported on in an earlier report a solar vaccination fridge, so important in these very remote areas for the safe delivery of vaccines, was safely transported by helicopter to our Yari Health Clinic and Birthing Centre.

I am also very happy to report that our first two Little Doctors Health Education programmes for 2017 have now been completed at Mansarovar Secondary School and Bal Mandir Secondary School, both in Humla. Two more are about to start. As reported earlier this health education programme is having a huge impact on improving general health in these communities. Respitory and stomach disorders have seen a significant drop.

Thank you to all our supporters, donors and followers for enabling the Nepal Trust to continue with our work. We can do nothing without you. Please pass on the good news to your friends and family.

Bargaun Birthing Centre
Bargaun Birthing Centre
Loading Solar Vaccine Fridge
Loading Solar Vaccine Fridge
Little Doctors Class Mansarovar Sec. School
Little Doctors Class Mansarovar Sec. School
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Dear friends and supporters. I am currently in the field at the moment, sometimes with a wifi link sometimes not. The plan is to be in the 'Hidden Himalayas' by next week when I can report the very latest news about the project with some upto date photographs. So please bear with me for a short while. Our trip to Humla is a big challenge and involves two flights and much trekking to visit our project areas. It is a beautiful area but very remote and difficult to get anywhere. 50000 people welcome your help.

Many thanks for your patience and all your support. 

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Maternal Healthcare Training
Maternal Healthcare Training

Winter is a quiet time in the Hidden Himalayas. Heavy snow and blocked trails and mountain passes make it very difficult to move around. Nevertheless, Humla does not come to a standstill and people continue to move on and make a difference; there is always something to do. We have delivered the Birthing Centre equipment to the government health committee in Syada VDC but await to hear of further developments. Once the trails clear we hope to hear more and will let you know how it is all developing.

Syada is not part of the Nepal Trust network of Health clinics but run by the government. We are very happy to help to ensure that all clinics, when we are asked, receive our support and encouragement.

I am very happy to report that there is now clear evidence that our health programme is improving the general health of the populations in the areas we work in. In the four year period between 2013 and 2016 there have been significant decreases in the numbers of patients with diseases and infections caused by poor hygiene and general lifestyles. This is due to the hard work of our clinic staff who provide health advice as part of their everyday duties. It is also the product of our unique Little Doctors programme of health training for school children that teaches basic health, hygiene and lifestyle choices. This programme is now running four courses a year in selected schools in Humla teaching over 85 pupils. The idea is that these pupils go back to their families and siblings and pass on what they have learned, so reaching a much wider audience.

In 2013 the Trust operated five clinics. This is now increased to seven clinics in 2016. The records show a considerable improvement in certain health areas further accentuated by the increased workload. The main improvements are notably in the areas where good health education has the biggest impact. For example, food or waterborne disease such as diarrhea and enteritis, the number of cases have dropped from 1434 to 774 in 2016. Skin diseases have dropped from 986 to 555 and diseases of children under 5 years of age have dropped from 469 to 356.

The drop has been less marked, but still there, in diseases of the respitory, urinary and reproductive tracts from 1699 to 1648. The slow improvement here is largely due to the continued lifestyle of living in enclosed, poorly ventilated and smoky homes. However, our renewable energy programme is continuing to expand to provide clean energy and smokeless stoves to more and more families. it will only get better! A more detailed 2016 summary is attached to this report.

Many, many thanks to all of our friends and supporters for all your help and encouragement over the years. Your donations are essential so that our work can continue in this remote corner of the world but your encouragement means such a lot to us when often faced with insumountable odds! We have never been defeated yet, not even by a war, and it is largely down to you that has kept is going. Please pass this report on to your friends and encourage them to support us too.

Maternal Healthcare
Maternal Healthcare

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Mother and child home visit
Mother and child home visit

These days, in the UK, doctors and other medical support will only visit you in the direst of emergencies. It is relatively easy to get to a local health centre or A & E if you feel unwell. In the Hidden Himalayas this is often not an option and the nearest functioning health clinic may be hours, or even, days walk a way. A decent hospital may not exist or be at the end of an expensive flight.

Despite these difficulties the hardiness and resilience of the inhabitants is remarkable and they will put up with real hardship to reach their nearest health centre. However, this is not an option for some and a home vist by one of our health workers is essential. Our local staff include home visits in their daily routine even though they may have to walk for hours! Such is life in the Hidden Himalayas.

Fitting out of our Yari Health Post and Birthing Centre is near completion. Furniture and equipment is almost in place. The ANM health worker, recruited locally, has been supporting at one of our other clinics to build up knowledge and support and is now ready to take charge of her own clinic.

One of our oldest clinics at Kermi village is now 16 years old and has done sterling work under the control of the local health worker, a local man from Kermi. The building is now in need of some repair and improvements to properly continue its valuable role in the community. We are now looking for funding to support this initiative. We would welcome any help you can give.

Our Little Doctors programme is a very important health initiative that spreads hygiene and basic health knowledge through the community via children who have been taught at their local school. We have now added a fourth school to our programme. The Shree Him Jyoti Higher Secondary School in south Humla is our latest addition. Each year we can now provide health education to 88 young students who will pass on their new knowledge to their siblings and other family members.

Life continues in this beautiful but remote corner of the world. Your support has made a huge difference as the general health of the population continues to improve and economic opportunities materialize. Thank you so much for all of your help and support. We hope you will continue to support our programme of health and opportunity which brings so much hope to the people of north west Nepal and the Hidden Himalayas.

Sarkegard Health Post
Sarkegard Health Post
Kermi Health Post
Kermi Health Post
Kermi Health Post (2)
Kermi Health Post (2)
Little Doctors at Sarkegard
Little Doctors at Sarkegard
Yari Health Post and Birthing Centre
Yari Health Post and Birthing Centre
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The first baby at Barguan BC
The first baby at Barguan BC

Jankala is a young mother from Bargaun village in Humla. Before the Nepal Trust built the new Birthing Centre in her village she would have had to trek for hours, even days, to reach qualified help and safe facilities to deliver her baby. The alternative was to give birth in an outbuilding or cowshed. This is no longer necessary and Jankala has delivered the very first baby to be born in the birthing centre. The baby, yet to be named, is healthy and will receive regular check-ups, along with its mother, to ensure they both have a long and healthy future ahead of them.

The other two Birthing Centres are operating well. Yari has still to be fully furnished but all the furniture has been shipped to Simikot and will soon be delivered by horse and porters. Meanwhile Maternal Health training sessions have started and are well attended.

All clinics, six altogether, have recently been restocked with fresh medicines and supplies.

Our successful Little Doctors health programme for school children goes from strength to strength. We have taken the decision to run 4 courses this year - up from 3 - and in subsequent years. This will mean that up to 90 children will be taught basic personal and family healthcare and knowledge which they will pass on to their families. This programme is having a significant impact on general health in the district.

We continue to work in cooperation with other agencies and donors. An example is the recent donation, through the Norwegian Development Fund, to supply the village of Syadaa in Humla with a complete set of birthing equipment for its clinic. The Nepal Trust safely delivered the equipment.

Our work continues in this remote but very beautiful part of the world. Nothing is easy, there are no roads and movement is always on foot. Emergencies can be dealt with with the help of an helicopter or a small plane from Simikot but it is very expensive. Our donors are our lifeline but life and death for the people that live in Humla. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all you have done to support this cause. Please stay with us and encourage your friends to help also.

Namaste. 

Auxillary Nurse Midwife - Nabina
Auxillary Nurse Midwife - Nabina
Yari - Maternal Health Training
Yari - Maternal Health Training
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The Nepal Trust

Location: Glasgow, Scotland - United Kingdom
Website:
Project Leader:
Tony Sharpe
Elgin, Moray United Kingdom
$71,969 raised of $90,000 goal
 
655 donations
$18,031 to go
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