Cataract Patients at HHC's Eye Camp
Himalayan HealthCare (HHC) has been conducting medical camps in Nepal’s remote mountain villages since 1992, providing care to populations that, due to their remoteness and the legacy of Nepal’s caste system, otherwise have no options for healthcare.
Before HHC’s presence in Ilam, in far-eastern Nepal, the region had only one doctor to serve its entire population of 250,000, forcing many villagers in need of care to travel long distances to clinics in the lowlands or Indian bordertowns. The villages of Tipling, Shertung and Lapa in Northern Dhading require days of walking through treacherous trails—over passes of up to 14,000 feet—to reach the nearest road. Many patients do not have the means to make the long journey to hospitals in Kathmandu.
Over the past several months, HHC’s local staff and volunteers have been hard at work carrying out a series of medical camps in both Ilam and Northern Dhading to bring healthcare to patients in need.
In December, in Ilam, HHC conducted a medical camp at the Shree Ambar Higher Secondary School for children with mental disabilities. A total of 67 students were treated from area schools, including 17 mentally disabled youth between the ages of 11 and 22.
HHC conducted educational workshops with the students and caregivers about personal hygiene, safety during recreational activities, first aid and overall health awareness. All patients were given a general check-up and HHC treated several upper-respiratory tract infections, musculoskeletal pain and a self-inflicted lacerated wound.
The following medicines were provided free of charge by the Ilam District Hospital: Syrup Cefpodoxime; Syrup Cetrizine; Syrup Cifixime; Syrup Ibuprofen and Paracetamol; Syrup Ampicillin and Cloxacillin; Ointment Polysporin; Doclofenac Gel; ear drops and eye drops, Tab. Ciprofloxacin, GammaBHC, Betadine solution, AlMgOH were the other medications.
In January, also in Ilam, HHC treated 109 patients in a free medical camp coinciding with an annual festival called Maibeni Mela. The timing took advantage of the fact that community members had already travelled long distances to Ilam to participate in the festival celebrations.
In November, in Northern Dhading, HHC treated 590 patients, including 73 children, at its Borang Eye Camp in Shertung. More than 200 of these patients were treated for cataracts.
HHC was assisted by over 50 local volunteers who went door-to-door helping HHC to identify patients in need of care, and helping to get the patients—many of whom were elderly—to Borang. With no road access, many of these patients had to be carried for more than a day to reach the HHC medical camp.
In addition to cataracts, HHC treated patients for more than a dozen complaints, including presbyopia (farsightedness), corneal opacity, conjunctivitis, ocular allergies and corneal ulcers.
The local community supported the patients by providing blankets, hot water and care for patients.
HHC is grateful for the team of Nepali doctors, health providers and volunteers who came together to assist our village supervisors, field coordinators and other local staff in helping us to treat nearly 800 patients who otherwise would not have had access to medical assistance.
We are also grateful for the generous support of donors like you who have helped us to bring life-saving healthcare to hundreds of thousands of people in rural Nepal since 1992.
As we enter our 25th year of operations, we hope some of you will consider joining us on one of our 25th anniversary treks taking place this spring and fall. You will join a team of doctors, dentists, nurses, social workers, teachers and other volunteers--including friends and family members--through the Himalayas to Tipling, Shertung and Lapa where you will work with our staff and the local communities to provide training, medical care and other support to those who need it most.
For more information or to apply, please visit our website, www.himalayanhealthcare.org.
Thank you once again for your support and we hope to see you soon in Nepal.
A Patient at HHC's Eye Camp
A young patient is treated at an HHC Medical Camp
HHC Medical Staff Treating Patients in Dhading