Social Welfare and HealthBumburi Medical Centre
Bumburi Health and Medical Centre serves the rural, low-income communities and villages in this beautiful area of the Solukhumbu, providing healthcare for the large and ethnically diverse population of around 20,000 people currently lacking regular access to qualified doctors and medical facilities.
The proposal and plans have been developed with demographic information and medical data collected during the medical camps we have run in Bupsa and Bumburi since 2010. The camps attract people from miles around due to the lack of access to basic health care, qualified doctors, and specialist treatment. People often walk for many days to attend the nearest hospital or have to take the long and expensive journey to Kathmandu. Bumburi Medical Centre aims to meet this gap on a permanent year-round basis, providing consultations, treatment, and advice from qualified doctors as well as access to medication on prescription.
Facilities have been constructed using sustainably sourced local resources and traditional Sherpa building techniques, as with all of our construction projects in the villages, along with the help of voluntary labour. The medical centre is built on land donated by the community who are very enthusiastic about the project and have been fully involved in the development of plans and the work to construct facilities. The medical centre includes a general clinic, a recovery/treatment room, a pharmacy, and a dental surgery.
History of the Bumburi Medical Centre Project
Moving Mountains began supporting health facilities in the Solukhumbu region of the Himalayas by funding deliveries of medicines and equipment to a small health post in the village of Khari Khola, which is located off the old Everest trail.
Following this, Moving Mountains started running free mobile medical camps to the villages of Bupsa and Bumburi in 2010. The camps are led by qualified Nepalese doctors and dentists and supported by volunteer medical and dentistry students from the UK, initially through a partnership with Bristol RAG and the University of Bristol and now also with other universities and medical students, as well as qualified doctors, dentists, and nurses from around the world.
Through these camps, we collect medical data to help gain a better picture of prevalent health issues suffered by people in the area and this information and the recommendations of the experienced doctors who lead our medical teams have fed into plans for Bumburi Medical Centre. This information also allows us to tailor our other project work in the villages to help to provide effective preventative solutions to the health issues we encounter.
Above: Former team of Medical Students volunteer on the free Med Camp
The first stages of construction of the new medical clinic in Bumburi began in August 2013. This was due, in part, to the support of a UK volunteer group from Kingsbere Explorers who fundraised for the project and helped to put in the foundations and start the construction process, working in partnership with Moving Mountains Nepal staff and the local community.
The construction continued throughout 2014 and 2015 under the supervision of the Bumburi Village Development Committee and Moving Mountains Nepal and the construction was completed in 2016, with the official opening of the clinic taking place at the start of April 2016, an event attended by Moving Mountains UK Chairman Gavin Bate.
Above: Opening ceremony in April 2016
We are now seeking funding to complete the final phases, including stocking the centre with medicine and medical equipment, building extra male and female toilets and wash facilities, as well as funding the salaries of the two community health nurses, Ang Dawa Sherpa and Mingma Sherpa, who are based at the clinic. Both Mingma and Ang Dawa are from the region and their community health and nursing courses in Kathmandu were funding by Moving Mountains while the construction was taking place.
In the long term we'd like to get some volunteer Doctors, Dentists, Nurses, Pharmacists and Medical staff based up in Bumburi to help Ang Dawa and Mingma with the management and development of the clinic, eventually on a rolling basis but initially we just need some people who are qualified to help with the initial development.
- Kingsbere Explorers
- Bristol Rag
- University of Bristol
- University of Cambridge
- The John Ramplin Charitable Trust
Above: The official name of the clinic is the 'Ang Kami Memorial Community Hospital'
1. Medical Elective - If you are a studying medicine or a recently qualified doctor you can volunteer at Bumburi Medical Centre on a medical elective placement. Utilise your knowledge and skills, assisting and learning from an experienced doctor. You could also combine time a medical placement in the villages with a medical placement at one of our partner hospitals in Kathmandu.
2. If you are already a qualified medical professional you can take a ‘Sabbatical placement’ and volunteer at Bumburi Medical Centre.
3. Visit this stunning part of the world as part of any trip to Nepal or incorporate visits on an Everest Base Camp trek from Jiri.
Above: Panoramic view of the neighbouring village of Bupsa
The project is a long-term investment which we will develop over many years in partnership with the community, Bumburi Village Development Committee, and the doctors who volunteer to work at the centre.
We aim to establish Bumburi Health Centre as a regional health hub, providing quality consultation, care, and expertise at a fair price and on a sustainable, long-term footing. By involving community members in the management committee of the health centre, we help to ensure good governance structures and local ownership of the project.
We aim to attract full time qualified doctors to work at the centre on sabbatical placements and support them with permanent local medical staff in order to meet the major gap existing in health care provision in the area. During the years of construction we also funded the training of two students from villages in the region to undertake nursing and community health assistant courses in Kathmandu so that they were able to return to work at the clinic, fully qualified, when it opened in April 2016.
We hope to staff the clinic with both Nepalese and international doctors working on sabbatical placements and also hope to train a student to study medicine and work at the clinic as a permanent doctor in future.
Above: Mingma Sherpa and Ang Dawa Sherpa are the qualified community nurses
Traditionally it is very difficult to attract a doctor away from the opportunities available in Kathmandu. However, a quality medical facility with a clear and transparent management structure, supported by Moving Mountains and the local communities and village development committees will provide fantastic opportunities for qualified doctors both from Nepal and via Moving Mountains' international network of supporters and contacts.
Bumburi Health and Medical Centre will serve the needs of a large beneficiary population of around 20,000 people and the need for quality healthcare in the area is clear. Through the provision of facilities, staff, and funding to run the clinic, we hope to make it self-sustainable. We are very excited to make the project a long-term success.