NEPAL – a medical clinic in the Himalayas
Currently we are looking into the possibility of setting up a medical clinic in one of the most remote villages in Nepal. The village of Nar lies at an altitude of 4110m in the northwesternern part of Nepal and has a population of 550 people. In the vicinity there is also a village called Phu with 350 inhabitants along with smaller settlements of Metha, Zunam, Chague and Kang. The people there don’t have access to any health facilities or other basic needs such as education, running water and sanitation.
Narpas, the local people, depend on cattle rearing and subsistence agriculture as well as the harvesting of “yarsa”. “Yarsa” which has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for 2000 years is the caterpillar fungus which is a highly prized tonic, touted for its ability to increase energy and vitality, strengthen the lungs and kidneys, treat cancer and asthma, and, perhaps most famously, cure impotence and boost libido — it’s supposed aphrodisiac effects earning it the nickname “Himalayan Viagra.”
It takes more than two and half days on foot to walk from the nearest town of Chame, through a dense forest along treacherous trails to reach the villages. Narpas have to carry all supplies including food and household goods on their backs. Chame is also the closest place with a medical clinic and a hospital.
In 2013 a local NGO set up a clinic serving the area surrounding the Nar village, using the premises of the local monastery. Unfortunately, after 3 years the funds to run the clinic have dried up and as a result it had to close. We are hoping to reopen the clinic and employ trained medical staff to provide care all the year round. Our aims would also include the supply of medicines; health related education; reduction of the death rate due to emergency conditions like shock, hypertension and diabetes; prevention of communicable diseases; pregnancy and mother and baby care.