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 Health  Nepal Project #8179

Healthcare & Opportunity in the Hidden Himalayas

by The Nepal Trust
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

The reality of life in Nepal is worse than that! The Nepal Trust has established a chain of health clinics following the main trading route through Humla from Tibet and we continue to expand our network. However, it is still a tough walk over steep and rough mountain trails to reach the clinics; sometimes taking two days or more! For outlying and remoter villages it can take longer. Imagine having to carry an elderly relative or young child on your back over steep mountain trails for 8 hours to reach your doctor - it doesn't bear thinking about unless, of course, you live in the Hidden Himalayas. The Trust is working hard to to improve this situation and provide a reliable and efficient health service for all.

In the four months from April to July our clinics treated over 4500 patients. The monsoon season will cause more sickness and we expect patient figures to increase during this period. However, we see a gradual improvement in overall general health as our efforts to reach people and educate the young in particular begins to have an effect. Combined with our other approaches of providing clean renewable energy and income earning jobs we expect to see a gradual year-on improvement.

Our new season Little Doctors health education programme has started and 66 young students have enrolled for this four month course that will raise their awareness of health matters including personal hygiene, family planning, diseases, sanitation, first aid and nutrition. Classes are organised and run through local schools and delivered through trained health workers from the Nepal Trust, local school teachers and local government health workers.

The Nepal Trust works with the government to provide health care according to national legislation. Recently central government has delegated responsibility for health management and delivery to a district committee. The Trust is working very closely with this committee for future direction of our health programme.

Our first Birthing Centre at Bargaun is nearing completion and will open up a whole new opportunity for mothers to give birth under safe conditions for the first time ever. The next two centres at Yari and Sarkegad are well into the planning stage for construction from 2014. There is a small shortfall in funding and we would welcome any additional support and help to close the gap.

The Trust welcomes any feedback, help or advice you can give. Our whole ethos is based on dedicated volunteers who give their time, money and skills to our cause. please contact us if you would like to help in some other way.

Finally, we have attached our latest newsletter that gives a wider picture of our work in this remote and impoverished area. It describes other areas of work designed to give the local people new opportunities and a healthier lifestyle. Ultimately, that is what it is all about!


Attachments:

For such a beautiful, if very remote, part of the world the maternal and child health statistics are appalling in the 'Hidden Himalayas'. Technology is moving fast and computers and mobile phones can be used in Simikot and the small mountain airstrip has a blacktop making take-off and landing a little bit more comfortable. However, 40% of children die before they reach the age of 5 years and 8% of mothers die during labour. Much of this is down to long established beliefs and lack of education. The Nepal Trust is targetting these areas to make a difference. Our Little Doctors programme providing health education is an innovative and rewarding project that is beginning to make a difference. Over 250 young students have completed the 4 month course and have passed on their knowledge to their other family members. A course, for over 20 students, costs £1500 and is delivered through the local education system by health workers and their own teachers. Courses for 2013 are already subscribed and additional funding is required to deliver them. Can you help?

Our first, and the regions first, dedicated Birthing Centre in Bargaun is nearing completion and grant applications have been submitted for the next two centres to be built in Yari and Sarkegad. Mothers will no longer have to go outside or in to the cowshed to give birth. These facilities, staffed by Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANM), will provide a clean place with qualified personnel to ensure the birth is as comfortable and safe as possible. Your support for this very important initiative is very much appreciated.

We continue to improve the delivery of our health service and have recently appointed a new Health Manager who will oversee all of our clinics and services. Ratna Lamichhane is fully qualified to supervise and deliver all the work that we do particularly maternal healthcare.

The Nepal Trust has long taken an integrated approach to its overall work in Humla. Our view is that a healthy society is also a prosperous one and, to further this philosophy, we have developed renewable energy projects, cultural and heritage preservation and income generation projects. We are excited to announce a joint collaboration with the Swiss charity Norlha to develop an agricultural project. The project aim is to re-vitalize agriculture development and expand vegetable production and bee-keeping in the Humla area. Today tourism is a viable income source for families along the trek routes, where there is an increasing demand for vegetables and agriculture products. Additionally, since most of West Tibet is semi-desert with low agricultural productivity, the border markets offer trading potential for local farmers. This is just one of many projects designed to improve the livelihood and, therefore, the future health of these remote mountain communities.

 

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