Medical Camp in the Himalayas
Our two week Medical Camps to Nepal run twice a year in April and August and offer a chance for professionals or students in medicine, nursing, public health and dentistry to travel into the Himalayan foothills to an area called Solu Khumbu where we run an outreach clinic that is the base for this event which attracts between 1500 - 2000 patients from the surrounding villages.
We employ Nepalese doctors and dentists from Kathmandu to supervise and support the event. Normally we have a group of up to twenty volunteers, five to six Nepali medical staff and local people to assist with portering and setting up the facilities.
The medical camps provide free consultations and health checks, diagnosis and basic treatment. They also provide basic dental check ups and dental work, plus public health campaigns in the schools. Each year we try to focus on one particular area of need, for example pre and post natal care, and fundraise for specific equipment such as portable ultrasound machines.
We started the camps in 2008 and the data we collect has enabled the charity to focus on specific projects aimed at improving public health such as piping clean water into each home, smokeless stoves in the homes and backboilers to provide hot water, as well as public health campaigns in the schools to promote simple personal and dental hygiene. Latest medical reports below:
Bristol Medical School has been a long time supporter of this programme and has set up a dedicated website for students from Bristol University about this trip. Read a blog by Kate Lowe, MBBS, MCEM, Emergency Medicine doctor based on the south coast of England, about her medical camp in Nepal here.
There are currently no permanent doctors in the region, which is home to a population of Sherpa and Rai people living in rural communities. Healthcare is fairly rudimentary and public health campaigns almost non-existent. The homes and lives of people are traditional but having said that, since we have provided clean water, electricity, smokeless stoves, back boilers with hot water and access to education there has been a change in the types of conditions that the medical camp has recorded. Less respiratory problems for example, less dermatological problems as people are able to wash more frequently with hot water and soap. But long term joint problems are a continued problem, given that most people work a hard farming life and also porter for tourists. Pre-natal care is a big concern, the level of infant mortality and labour complications is unnecessarily high and could easily be avoided.
Slowly these medical camps have provided an incremental positive change in the health of the region, and we are keen to continue for as long as possible. Your help and fundraising will make this possible.
The villages of Bupsa, Bumburi and Khari Khola are about two days from the small airport town of Lukla which is the gateway for people trekking to Everest Base Camp. Another way to reach the villages is by driving to Saleri or Paphlu, and then taking a jeep part way or walking up to the villages which takes two days.
Each person going on this trip commits to fundraising a minimum of £1395.00 which covers the cost of the trip itself (accommodation, meals and transport), plus the cost of the camp itself (medicines, equipment, Nepali staff) and also covers the cost of running the medical clinic and the nurses salaries for one year.
We would like to attract medical professionals and students in medicine, nursing, dentistry, public health and possibly occupational therapy. The Nepali staff are well used to managing such rural 'camps' so the logistics of the event is taken care of. A lot of the work is quite routine diagnoses, simple treatments and management of common conditions. However there are often emergency or critical conditions requiring referral to the main hospital in Saleri.
Openness, enthusiasm and initiative would all be good requirements, this is not a tourist region so you will find conditions quite rural and basic. The accommodation is in a traditional Sherpa home, the food is mostly Sherpa food and people dress traditionally. You will be able to take part in community events, there is always a party to celebrate the camp and it's a combination of Sherpa dancing and drinking of the local rakshi made mostly from potatoes.
OUR PRINCIPLES FOR WELL RUN MEDICAL CAMPS
Inclusive and relevant
Our medical camps are open to anybody, and there is a clear understanding that any community event like this can only exist if there is a need that is identified by the local people in the villages.
Long term impact
We aim to run these camps every year so they become an annual event for the communities and something to rely on. We analyse the processes of change that occur so that there is clear evidence for the need of events like this. We also share the findings with regional health administrators and try to work in line with long term national aims.
This is an 18 day trip and the starting point in Kathmandu. We can advise on where to stay, it's best if everyone stays in the same place so we can do an easy transfer in the morning to start the overland journey.
First and second days are arrival and getting ready. Days three to five are getting to the villages, by a combination of car and jeep and walking. Then ten days running the actual camp and staying in local homes or lodges, and then a two day return to Kathmandu, arriving back on day 18.
The core dates cover a 19 day period, which starts with your arrival in Kathmandu. The second day is a rest, briefing and sightseeing day. We transfer up into the mountains on day 3, arriving in to the villages on the afternoon of day 5. We then live, work and experience the local way of life and undertake the medical project in this stunningly beautiful part of the world up until day 15. We then head back to Phaplu (a 2 day walk) for our return to Kathmandu on day 18. You can then fly home or carry on travelling.
Day by day itinerary
|1-2||Arrive in Kathmandu and get to know the city, prepare for your journey.|
|3||Early morning drive from Kathmandu to Saleri or Paplhu, two villages quite close to each other and where the trail beings. The drive lasts all day and passes through lots of rolling countryside towards the mountains.|
|4||Start the trek towards villages like Taksindu and Ringmo, about 5 to 6 hour hiking. It's possible now to take a jeep part way. Stay in a local lodge with twin bedrooms with beds and mattresses. You can choose between local food and some western recipes.|
|5||Continue the trek to Bupsa and Bumburi, the two main villages where the camps are run. Move into the lodge where you will be staying for the next ten days.|
|6 - 15||
Medical Camp in Bupsa and Bumburi. The two villages are about two hours apart by path and the clinic is in Bumburi which is a more traditional village. The days will begin at around 7am and finish early evening and patients will arrive all day and every day from far and wide. The actual management of the programme is largely controlled by the Nepali medical staff who will set up various stations, some indoor and some outdoor. The local people will be asked to queue according to needs and you will be able to rotate each day working in different rooms and with different medical staff.
You will be provided with your meals in the lodges and in the evening there is time to relax or visit people in their homes and on the last nights there will be parties and celebrations.
|16 - 17||Bid farewell to the Sherpa hosts and leave the villages to trek back through the valleys towards Ringmo/Taksindu and onto Paphlu.|
|18||Jeep transfer back to Kathmandu and overnight in the local guesthouse.|
|19||Either continue with your stay in Nepal or onward travel (home or elsewhere).|
Accommodation is in lodges which are clean and well run by the local Sherpas. There is a central eating and social area with a stove for heating the room, and the bedrooms have two beds with mattresses and pillows. You can ask for a mattress too. Many of the lodges now have wifi and hot showers.
There will be electricity in the lodges while you are trekking and while you are in the villages. You must bring a two pin round plug adaptor though. The output is usually 110V.
Food is of a good quality, plentiful and will be mainly local foods such as dal bhat (lentil stew with rice and curried potatoes or meat), boiled potatoes with chilli sauce, Sherpa stew (meat, potatoes, vegetables in a rich sauce) or curry with rice. These are the staple foods for Sherpa people.
Bottled water is not allowed now in Nepal but you can bring a hard plastic (Nalgene) bottle and ask for boiled water from the kitchen to fill your water bottle in the evening, or use water purification tablets, or an AquaPure traveller water bottle during the day. River water is generally full of glacial silt and could possibly be contaminated with animal urine and the run-off from toilets, so do not drink this.
MEDICAL CAMP IN NEPAL MINIMUM DONATION IS £1395.00
This figure includes the cost of running the medical camp (Nepali medical personnel, pharmaceuticals and equipment), your land costs (transport to the mountains by jeep and walking up to the village with some porters and staying in lodges throughout with all the meals) plus something towards the running of the clinic for a year (salaries for two nurses, pharmaceuticals and assistance for local people being referred to hospital).
You can set up a fundraising page on ourplatforms:
Remember that 20% gift aid is added automatically if one of your donors is a UK taxpayer.
What is excluded from this donation figure is:
- International flights / transfers to Kathmandu
- Visa, vaccinations / personal medication required and personal travel insurance
- Accommodation in a hotel or guesthouse in Kathmandu at the start and end of the itinerary
- Airport transfers and meals in Kathmandu
- Personal costs like laundry, hot showers, boiled water, alcohol, snacks and soft drinks in the mountains
- Any tourist / extra activities in Kathmandu
Our local provider is Adventure Alternative Nepal which works with Moving Mountains Nepal with regards organisation of group stays, medical supplies and local Doctors and Dentists, meetings with local committees, communications between the UK office and Nepal, etc
Join us by choosing a date below and submitting an enquiry to register.
- Duration 19 Days
- Numbers 10-25
- Altitude 2850m
- Accommodation Lodges and homestays