There are only two ways to get to Simikot and the Hidden Himalayas; you can vigorously trek for over 10 days or you can fly there in a small aircraft. The good news is that the small mountain airstrip has been black topped. The flight in is just as scary but the landing is much smoother!
Winter has now passed in this remote part of the world and the Nepal Trust is pushing ahead with new developments to provide a sustainable and accessible primary health care service to the Buddhist and Hindu villagers. The Torpa clinic is now finished and fully functioning. The next stage of this development will be a Birthing Centre in the adjoining village of Bargaon but linked to Torpa. This centre will provide safe and skilled facilities and treatment for pregnant mothers to give birth. Sourcing funds is still a priority but it is hoped to start work on building the centre later this year. A new clinic and birthing centre is planned for 2013 at Muchu village in northern Humla. All clinics are provided with electricity through solar PV panels, clean water and washing facilities.
A 3-4 month supply of fresh medicines was distributed in January to all of our 5 clinics. Patient records for December show that 1205 females and 1240 males were registered for treatment including 158 children under the age of 5 years. Family planning advice and help was given to 365 families.
To avoid duplication of effort in this remote and logistically difficult region the Nepal Trust continues to work towards cooperation with other NGOs. The ISIS Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation working in Nepal and Uganda (http://www.isis.bm/). In Humla ISIS has teamed up with the Nepal Trust to help raise the standards and depth of health care delivered through our clinics at Yalbang and Kermi. We saw the first benefits of this collaboration in November/December 2011 with the organisation, funded by ISIS, of health camps at Kermi and Mahaboudha Secondary School in Yalbang. In total 727 patients attended the clinics to receive treatment. The intention is to set up a more formal and long term collaboration agreement that will see ISIS assisting the NT long term with the running costs of the two clinics
Winter has now descended on the villages of the Hidden Himalayas. Deep snow limits access to remote villages and the high passes are blocked to commercial and tourist travel. Flights in to Simikot are problematical depending on how well the short, dirt runway can be cleared. Nevertheless, our health clinic staff continue to provide a valuable service. Because they come from the villages they serve they have an urgent desire to help their community as best they can.
Our Little Doctors programme for 2011 is now completed and 66 young students from the villages of Kermi, Challa, Yalbang and Simikot have successfully graduated. They will now take the health knowledge and skills they have learned back to their families and friends and, hopefully, spread their knowledge. The LD programme is a unique and valuable way of spreading health education in one of the remotest regions on the planet.
The Nepal Trust is currently in discussion with two other aid organisations about collaboration and sharing resources in the health and education sector. This will avoid overlap and duplication and be more cost effective. Agreements and MoUs are being drawn up and should be in operation in early 2012.
An independent film company from Scotland, Recite Films, has donated time and effort to produce a documentary film about the work of the Trust. The film will be ready for publishing early 2012 and a link will be published in our next report.
The Nepal Trust and the people of the Hidden Himalayas would like to wish all our supporters, volunteers and friends a wonderful festive season and best wishes for 2012. We hope the year ahead will bring good health and fresh opportunities to the deprived communities of Humla.
Our primary healthcare programme in Humla continues to provide a valuable service in this remote and mountainous district. Since June 2011 over 2600 villagers have been seen and treated at our 5 clinics including more than 1000 mothers and females and 250 children under 5 years of age. Nearly 200 pregnant mothers have received advice and treatment.
A fresh supply of medicines was distributed to the clinics. This is no easy task as they have to be flown from the Indian border by light aircraft, through the Himalayas, to the mountain airstrip at Simikot. From there they are portered to the clinics up to 5 days walk away.
Our highly successful child health education programme, Little Doctors, has started in 3 villages at Torpa/Bargaun, Yalbang and Simikot. 66 children and their teachers are receiving health training. The programme this year is in partnership with 3 local government schools.
Our health workers continue to provide, and develop, our health outreach programme. Over the last 3 months they have visited 5 of the remotest villages to deliver health awareness sessions.
The Nepal Trust thanks you for your continued support which is helping to improve the lives of some of the most deprived people on the planet. Our, and your, work with health combined with our inputs to renewable energy and income generation projects is really beginning to make a difference!
We hope you can continue to support us. How about asking a friend to look at our project on GlobalGiving? Our website www.nepaltrust.org will keep you up to date with all our activities.
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