Health
 Nepal
Project #8179

Healthcare & Opportunity in the Hidden Himalayas

by The Nepal Trust
Vetted
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
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
Barguan. Ms Nabina Lama (ANM)
Barguan. Ms Nabina Lama (ANM)

The Nepal Trust has pioneered health care and knowledge in the remote 'Hidden Himalayas' for over 20 years. We have seen tremendous improvements in not only health but also in the general lives of the villagers of this forgotten region. However, it is important to remember that we will not be there for ever and at some point the local population and the government must take over. It is important, and not practical, not to rush but to take time to ensure that the foundations laid will remain and continue to develop and prosper. Our clinics have been built and developed at the request of the local people through their village health committees. Not all are officially designated government clinics but it is hoped they will be through demand and pressure from the health committees. Where a clinic is officially classified as a government one the Trust has been asked to remain by the committee to run it to ensure efficiency. It is planned that, one day, all our clinics will become part of the government system.

Bargaun Birthing Centre is a good example of a government clinic, built and refurbished by the Trust, which remains under our management at the request of the local health committee. It is linked to the clinic at Torpa, our very first clinic, about an hours walk away. Sarkegad, in south Humla, is a similar example that ensures staff efficiency and broadens availibility to a wider public.

Our latest clinic, Yari Birthing Centre in north Humla, has completed building and equipment and furniture has been ordered for delivery very soon. Meanwhile Community Maternal Health training has begun for 68 women and mothers.

The Little Doctors programme - health education for students - goes from strength to strength. Funding is now in place to run four courses this year. Up to 100 young boys and girls will learn the essentials of good personal hygiene and cleanliness which they can pass on to their families.

Many of our other projects are health related. For example, renewable energy - clean energy - is healthy for the environment and reduces respitory diseases in the home. We have established many micro-hydro and solar energy schemes over the years. To support these schemes we are building a Renewable Energy Service Centre in the district - the first of its kind anywhere in Nepal. The project has yet to be fully funded and we would welcome further support.

We are working on a large water and sanitation project (WASH) at Kaskikot which will eventually provide clean water and sanitation to over 17000 people including many schools and public areas.

Our education portfolio includes Thehe school in the largest Hindu village in Humla. It is now completed and handed over to the education authorities. Our planned projects include schools at Kapilvastu (Lumbini), Bharatpur School for the Deaf (Chitwan) and Lipne (Humla). New schools will be built at Shree Ghorkonath and Shree Reshankyu in Sindalpulchowk as part of our Earthquake response. Work is due to start shortly once government administration has been dealt with.

Agriculture and food security are very important for good health. Our large project in Humla has been extended for another 3 years with our main funder. This will benefit 325 farmers.

As you can see, we are busy! However, I am proud to say that over 20 years every single project we have established is still there and operating - because we are there!

Of course nothing would happen without the support of our donors and volunteers for which we are eternally grateful. Many, many thanks to you all.

Thehe School
Thehe School
Bargaun Health Committee
Bargaun Health Committee

Attachments:
Little Doctors, Simikot 2015
Little Doctors, Simikot 2015

Simikot airport now has a black-topped landing strip! So what, you say. But this is a huge improvement over the short dirt strip previously that engendered so much trepidation and excitement on landing in the small Twin Otter after flying for almost an hour through deep valleys and cloud formations hoping the mountains would not get too close to the wing tips! This is progress! When you land you see young people going about with their smart phones  and Facebooking their friends in Kathmandu. Satellite dishes sprout everywhere and people watch their favourite television programmes. The economy is improving and smart hotels are springing up. There is even a yummy bakery. Of course, as you leave Simikot (walking that is, because there are no roads or public transport), you rapidly move back in time to a more relaxed and traditional lifestyle but a lifestyle still deeply embedded in the old beliefs and way of life.

But these ways are changing slowly but surely as education informs and improves the old ways. The Nepal Trust is at the forefront of these changes and our programmes in health, renewable energy, income generation, agriculture, etc, are changing lives for the better. This is real progress that is saving lives and improving life chances. Not easily spotted like mobile phones but, nevertheless, there!

Winter is a slow time in the Hidden Himalayas and limits movement as trails and high passes get snowed up. Our clinics continue to operate at all times. Our new Yari Birthing Centre and Health Clinic is now complete but support is still required to fully furnish and equip it. An Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) has been recruited from the local community and is now in the clinic and running Community Health Awareness programmes focussing on health and family planning issues. These programmes are also being promoted in our Sarkegad clinic in south Humla.

We now stock over 90 types of medicines in our clinics. These are purchased in Kathmandu where we have quality control, and driven for 14 hours to Nepalganj on the Indian border. From there they are flown to Simikot for distribution. This is no easy task and requires porters and pack animals that can take up to a week over 5000m mountain passes.

Our Little Doctor programme goes from strength to strength. We have been running this for 15 years and we are still the only organisation in Nepal running it. For the last few years we have managed three programmes throughout the district but in 2016 we plan to increase this to 4 classes. The main objectives are:

  • Provide prevention health education to local school children through their local education system.
  • Raise health awareness among local communities in an interactive and cost effective manner.
  • Share knowledge about environmental issues regarding health and hygiene.

Put very simply, children pass on their new knowledge to their own families.

Thank you to our supporters and donors for all your help. We can do nothing without you and we hope you will stay with us and even pass on what you know to your friends and hopefully encourage them to come on board. Our health programme, in particular, requires regular funding so if you can come up with new ideas we are here to listen. Thank you once again.

Checking the baby.
Checking the baby.
Community Health Awareness Training.
Community Health Awareness Training.
Community Health Awareness Training
Community Health Awareness Training
Participants Community Health Training
Participants Community Health Training
Yari Birthing Centre nearing completion
Yari Birthing Centre nearing completion

Building anything in the 'Hidden Himalayas' is no easy task. Its remoteness and lack of roads makes progress a slow business often compounded by monsoon rains and harsh winters. However, the local communities have drive and ambition to improve their lives and are willing to work hard towards that end. All infrastructure projects implemented by the Nepal Trust require a certain level of committment by the local communities so they have a feeling of pride and ownership. As well as financial inputs they may be required to dig trenches, build walls, collect stone and timber but they do this willingly and with gusto.

Our most recent health project involves the construction of three strategically positioned Birthing Centres to give women a safe place to get help, advice and clean facilities to give birth to their babies. This has never been available before and mothers have often had to give birth in outhouses and other unsafe places.

The two Centres at Bargaun and Sarkegad are both up and running successfully. A Community awareness programme has started at Sarkegad to inform villagers about natal and baby care and how the new Birthing centre can benefit them.

The third Centre at Yari in north Humla is well under way. The building is nearing completion and fitting out will start very soon. Staff have been recruited and are, meanwhile, working in other clinics to build local knowledge and experience.

Elsewhere, water, sanitation and health (WASH) posters have been printed and distributed to local schools. This is complementary to our Little Doctors programme (LD) and will ensure that all pupils receive some education and training about basic hygiene and health care. Three LD courses have been successfully delivered in 2015 in the villages of Simikot, Bargaun and Yalbang.

Thank you to all our supporters for everything you do to help our cause. Nothing can be done without you and you are an integral part of the vision of a healthy and prosperous life in the remote 'Hidden Himalayas'. Please pass your encouragement to others.  

Yari Birthing Centre building work
Yari Birthing Centre building work
Yari Birthing Centre
Yari Birthing Centre
Yari Birthing Centre
Yari Birthing Centre
 

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Organization Information

The Nepal Trust

Location: Glasgow, Scotland - United Kingdom
Website: http:/​/​www.nepaltrust.org
Project Leader:
Tony Sharpe
Elgin, Moray United Kingdom
$34,504 raised of $88,000 goal
 
388 donations
$53,496 to go
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