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
Daily life is hard.
Daily life is hard.

Winter in Humla is difficult for everyone. Deep snow restricts movement and the district becomes relatively cut-off for a couple of months. Of course this is normal and the locals are adapted to living in these conditions but in our modern high-tech world planes can't fly and building work has to stop. The good news is that spring has arrived and our new Birthing Centre at Bargaun is nearing completion. Plans are moving speedily ahead for new Birthing Centres at Sarkegad and Yari due to start in 2014. These will provide valuable maternal care in the south, middle and north of the district and will complement our existing chain of health clinics. The Nepal Trust has forged new links with the ISIS Foundation to jointly manage and operate our health clinics in Yalbang and Kermi. This collaboration provides an additional funding stream to upgrade the clinics and improve our services. A new Community Medical Assistant (CMA), Mrs Pratima Lama, has recently been recruited to work at the Kermi clinic to support an increasing workload and to give local women more confidence to seek medical help and support. A recruitment campaign is currently underway to employ a qualified Health Manager to look after the NT/ISIS health programmes throughout the district. Hot springs are a major feature at Kermi and plans are being drawn up to pipe the hot water to the clinic to help improve hygiene procedures. This is an exciting year for the Nepal Trust with new projects approved in agriculture, education and water and sanitation. These will all help to improve personal well-being and the general health of the local populations. Thank you again to all our friends and supporters on GlobalGiving. We hope you can continue to support the people of the 'Hidden Himalayas'; one of the remotest and most deprived areas of the world. It is not easy working there but it is insightful and very rewarding to both beneficiaries and donors alike.

The Karnali river from Simikot.
The Karnali river from Simikot.
The Nyalu pass towards Limi valley
The Nyalu pass towards Limi valley
Limi Health Clinic
Limi Health Clinic
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Volunteer dentist operating on the trail.
Volunteer dentist operating on the trail.

In September ten volunteers, from Yorkshire and Somerset, trekked for 14 days to help construct our latest clinic at the village of Bargaon. Daytime temperatures were extremely hot and the trails were difficult due to the increase in pony and sheep caravans resulting from new bridge reconstruction after the devastations of the recent civil war.

 On the way they were able to inspect the clinic at Sarkegad and were very pleased with what they saw. The clinic is jointly operated with the government and our health worker provides emergency and weekend care. On an average day the clinic will see about 40 patients but during the monsoon this can climb to as many as 100 per day.

Two dentists on the trek treated a total of 75 patients.

On arrival at Bargaon the group was able to contribute to the building operations and by the time they left the walls were up to roof level and all windows were in place. The building should be wind and water tight by the winter and ready for completion in the spring. This clinic will be the first dedicated Birthing Centre in Humla and will give pregnant mothers a safe and clean place to give birth to their babies compared to traditional practices.

The Nepal Trust  intends to expand this initiative throughout Humla over the coming years. In 2014 we are building Birthing Centres in Sarkegad and in the village of Yari further north towards the Tibetan border. We still need to source funding for these projects and would welcome any help or advice our friends and supporters can give.

Earlier this year Recite Films of Scotland made a documentary, free of charge, about the work of the Nepal Trust. This film explains in some detail the varied work we are involved in and how we adopt an integrated approach to help improve the living standards and quality of life of some of the poorest people on the planet living on the edge in the Hidden Himalayas. The Trust is excited to announce that this film has recently been voted the top documentary award at the recent Institute of Videography Awards ceremony in Manchester. To view this film visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oejHREw2NYY&feature=youtu.be

Finally, everyone at the Nepal Trust would like to wish all our friends and supporters all the very best for the festive season and for the coming new year 2013. We hope that, along with our own wishes, the new year will bring 'hope and opportunity' to you all.

With best wishes.

Simikot - Administrative HQ for Humla.
Simikot - Administrative HQ for Humla.
Newly blacktopped airstrip in Simikot! Luxury!
Newly blacktopped airstrip in Simikot! Luxury!

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Singing the Little Doctors song with their teacher
Singing the Little Doctors song with their teacher


This year the Nepal Trust has completed 3 Little Doctor programs successfully in the villages of Simikot, Bargaun and Yalbang to teach young school children the basics of health, sanitation, hygiene, family planning, first aid and the like. The classes have produced another 66 Little Doctors who have obtained valuable knowledge on how to live a healthier life and who will share their lessons learned with other family, and community members.

Also in Bargaun the construction of our Birthing Center has started and on October 1st a group of Nepal Trust
supporters and volunteers will arrive at Bargaun after an adventurous 2-week trek from Jumla district all the way up to Bargaun village, to help with the construction of the center.

Both projects, as well as the Torpa clinic have been visited by Global Giving USA representatives, who were very impressed with the work of Nepal Trust, and how the projects make a true difference to the lives of the Himalayan communities.

The core health program itself is progressing well and new batches of medicines have been sent to the clinics. On
request of the community we have added a skilled Community Medical Assistant (CMA) to the Sarkegad clinic in South Humla. Sarkegad is rapidly growing into an economical and social hub in the area and provision of trained health workers and medication is vital for the health conditions of this growing population. The CMA is supporting the clinic and government health workers by treating patients and keeps records of daily activities.

Little Doctors receiving their certificates.
Little Doctors receiving their certificates.
The class of 2012.
The class of 2012.
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Sagar stands at the site of a future hydro project
Sagar stands at the site of a future hydro project

Shari Davis and Ellen Currin are InTheField Travelers with GlobalGiving who are visiting our partners' projects throughout Nepal. Their "Postcard" from their most recent visit in Nepal:

A three-hour hike deep in the mountains of Northwest Nepal brought us to the remote village of Torpa, where we visited a health post supported by the Nepal Trust. One of the many projects supported through the organization, the health clinic was built to support the health needs of several remote villages. Unfortunately, the healthcare worker was out of the district to have her baby, and we were unable to speak with her about the population served by the clinic.

The next day, we hiked down the mountain to visit a school where the Little Doctors program is being implemented. “Little doctors” are students who have specialized health training provided by teachers and community health workers. During our visit, we took part in an assembly where one group of students who had completed the four months of training received their certificates and graduated from the program. We were also able to witness the new group of around 20 students begin their studies with learning symptoms and treatments of common infectious diseases. Sagar, a local employee of Nepal Trust, told us the program has been running for over 10 years and has produced over 250 “little doctors” in different communities around the impoverished district of Humla.

 During our visit in the remote district of Humla, we were able to stay at the friendly Nepal Trust guesthouse and see projects they have started to further their impact at the community level. In the town of Simikot, we visited a government hospital and a private hospital, which had both received support from the organization in the past. We also saw the land purchased for a future micro-hydro project in the same town, as well as land for a birthing center to be built by a nearby village. The staff of Nepal Trust has been very welcoming and made us feel at home in this beautiful, remote area of Nepal!

Graduating Little Doctors
Graduating Little Doctors
Inside of Torpa clinic
Inside of Torpa clinic
Outside of Torpa health clinic
Outside of Torpa health clinic
site  of future birthing center
site of future birthing center
little doctors in their first class
little doctors in their first class
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Mingyur treating a patient.
Mingyur treating a patient.
Delivering healthcare in the Hidden Himalayas of northwest Nepal is fraught with problems. There are no roads and one has to walk everywhere. To reach our remotest clinic in the beautiful Limi valley, close to the Tibet border, will take the average westerner 7 days and include a 5000 metre pass.
A volunteer doctor from the University of California, Dr Michael Niedermeier MD, has recently returned from an assignement for the Nepal Trust. It is worth quoting his observations from the western view.
'The clinics in Humla face unique challenges even by Nepali standards. The district is incredibly isolated, with no road access from lowland Nepal, and some of the Nepal Trust sites lie a week’s hike from the district headquarters and sole airstrip at Simikot. The physical landscape limits supplies and the local population carves its livelihood out of back-breaking farm labor on steeply terraced hillsides and the portering of goods over high mountain passes. The clinics, in turn, must diagnose and treat the numerous ailments incurred from food insecurity, environmental exposure, sanitation and physical strain, all without the benefit of imaging or laboratory testing, and with limited access to medications and higher levels of care. It’s a real challenge to tell a 60-year old man with congestive heart failure and a bout of chest pain that he needs to hike 10 hours across a 900m pass to get an ECG or a chest X-ray. Then again, he probably wouldn’t need a stress test.
Cultural differences provide their own challenges. Gynaecologic complaints were commonplace, yet physical exams by male practitioners, local and foreign alike, are simply not done. A patient with a cough might be unwilling to expose his back for auscultation out of embarrassment for poor hygiene; a large laceration would forego irrigation and suturing due to reluctance to remove a poultice of herbs “blessed” by a local monk; knee pain treated with ritual burns to the skin ends up with secondary infection; is the patient’s chronic productive cough from TB or simply the result of residing in a smoke-filled room with neither windows nor chimney? Each patient presented a unique diagnostic and therapeutic dilemma.'
Our health education programme for children  - Little Doctors - is successfully challenging these social and cultural issues and a new generation is moving forward to a healthier future. Three new LD programmes have been planned for this summer in the villages of Simikot, Yalbang and Torpa/Bargaun.
Plans for the new Birthing Centre in Bargaun village (linked to Torpa) are well advanced and the community have commenced collecting stone and timber. A 'Trek to Build Health' is going to Bargaun in September 2012 to help with construction works. Our T2B started in 1994 and are one the earliest forms of eco-tourism and a very unique way of putting something back. If you are interested in participating go to our website www.nepaltrust .org for more information.
Finally a new batch of medicines is about to be distributed to all clinics. This will be in collaboration with our partner organisation the ISIS Foundation.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dr Michael Niedermeier and Health worker Mingyur
Dr Michael Niedermeier and Health worker Mingyur

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Organization Information

The Nepal Trust

Location: Glasgow, Scotland - United Kingdom
Website:
Project Leader:
Tony Sharpe
Elgin, Moray United Kingdom
$76,596 raised of $90,000 goal
 
714 donations
$13,404 to go
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