HHC staff and volunteers treat a mother-to-be
Himalayan HealthCare (HHC) has been providing primary healthcare, essential medicines, training of health workers and other health and education services to Nepal's remote villages for nearly 25 years.
Statistics can tell you the impact HHC has had in northern Dhading District: in 1993, prior to our work in the area, the Under-Five Child Mortality Rate was 225 per 1,000 live births. By 2012, it had been reduced to 33 per 1,000 in Tipling, 39 per 1,000 in Shertung and 32 per 1,000 in Lapa--well below Nepal's national average.
With over two decades of work in these remote communities--some of which are a three-day walk from the nearest road--we have more to go on than statistics. When we spoke to one of our current scholarship students, Melina Tamang of Shertung, she told us:
There are a lot of other organizations like HHC, but they are not able to reach remote villages like this one. HHC started working in Tipling by opening a health post and providing services. They opened more in Shertung, Lapa and other places. I go to those health posts for treatment. In different villages, they started to provide efficient cooking stoves and latrines... If there were more organizations like HHC, Nepal will develop forward.
When asked about her motivation for higher studies in the medical field, Kumari BK, another scholarship student, replied:
When I went to HHC's village health posts when I was younger and saw people helping me, I dreamed of becoming like them... I am now studying to be a lab assistant, an opportunity provided by an HHC scholarship. I am sure I will complete my studies and serve the poor, and go and work in places where HHC asks me to.
Stories like these reinforce the devastating impact of last year's earthquake, which destroyed or damaged health posts throughout northern Dhading, along with the region's schools, homes and other structures. We are grateful to be collaborating with AmeriCares to repair and reconstruct 8 village health posts and upgrade the Dhading District Hospital.
With no road access and at altitudes of nearly 14,000 feet, this is no small feat. Our staff has been hard at work across Dhading District, clearing debris, gathering and transporting materials, preparing the site grounds and laying the foundations for permanent health posts.
Stone boulders from the hills of the Himalayas must be broken down for use in the foundation and walls of the health posts, and all building materials, including the stones, metal posts, trusses for roofing and other materials, must be carried to the construction site on foot. Volunteers from the local communities will be assisting with transportation of construction materials, while mules are bring used to carry in sand.
Soil must be prepped for the foundation, concrete must be mixed and slabs fitted into the ground where metal posts will then be installed. Next will come the addition of the siding and trusses for the roof. We hope most of the work can be completed before the heavy rains of monsoon season begin.
In Bhumisthan, HHC has completed seismic strengthening and repair work on a health post and the completed building was handed over to the Health Post Committee earlier this month. Representatives of HHC, AmeriCares and the Dhading District Health Office attended the handover process.
We are grateful to AmeriCares for supporting Himalayan HealthCare's ongoing repair and reconstruction work on Nepal's health posts, and to all of our donors who have supported us through a difficult year.
We thank you for your support.
Boulders are broken for use in laying foundation
Building materials carried on foot to Tipling
Batching of cement for Tipling health post
Installing metal posts for for Tipling health post
Handover of completed Bhumisthan health post