As part of the activities of our 5th International Congress on Sowa Rigpa held recently in Kathmandu, Nepal, Sorig Aid, together with Sorig Khang International Nepal (SKIN) organised two free medical camps to Maratika and Upper Mustang; both very sacred and historical places, putting our compassion and all our ‘talking’ during the congress into ‘action’!!
Both camps are well attended and successfully conducted and completed with the help from amchis, volunteers and participants. In these medical camps, patients are given free medical consultations, therapies, as well as sorig herbal medicine.
MARATIKA MEDICAL CAMP – 6th to 9th March 2017
It took 10 hours of bumpy jeep ride from Kathmandu to Maratika but it was a magical trip with Dr. Nida, Dr. Machig and Dr. Sonam heading the team.
On 7th March, first day of medical camp, 73 patients (Male 23, Female 36 and Children 14) were treated beginning from 9am to 5pm. Patients came from different parts of Khotang district.
On Day 2, 8th March, a further 154 patients (Male 55, Female 73, Children 26) were successfully treated. Patients came from different villages of Haleshi. Most patients walked 2 to 4 hours to receive treatments.
Please read the recap by Erik Jampa Andersson, one of our participants at the camp.
UPPER MUSTANG MEDICAL CAMP – 6th to 17th March 2017
Free medical camp for the people of Tsarang , Geling, Ghami, Dakmar, Marang, Lo monthang and Surkhang Village Development Community (VDC comprised of Dhye, Dhee, Ghara, Tangye and Yara in Mustang district), led by Amchi Tenjing Dharke Gurung and Jacqueline Yu, together with our guides Tashi Phuntsok, Phubar Sherpa and Tashi Sherpa. Through van, propeller plane, jeep, dozer, tractor and on foot through sand, rocks and snow over the 12 days…an amazing journey beyond words…..
The villages of Upper Mustang are not just among the most remote, inhabited, locations in Nepal, but also of the world, as a whole. These villages lack basic infrastructure and services due to their remote location.
- They have no health service center which makes it necessary for villagers to walk up to 7 hours for basic medical care;
- They are deprived of Nepalese government mandated medical services due to the lack of facilities to provide those services;
- Water resources in the region are rapidly diminishing. Water that is desperately needed for irrigation and household use is disappearing;
- Crop production is extremely low due to lack of proper nutrients in the soil and lack of needed precipitation. Many agricultural fields have been abandoned; A lack of income generating opportunities limits the villagers’ ability to continue to live in the region. The primary source of income today in the region is farming and raising livestock. This path is completely dependent on the villagers’ ability to grow food and obtain water for the farm and livestock. As previously stated, the ability to do so is dramatically declining;
- A poor educational system has resulted in villagers, on average, only obtaining an education through grade three. Because of the lack of an educational infrastructure, it is necessary for any and all in the region who wish to continue their education past grade three (or five in some villages) to leave the region and obtain this continued education in Pokhara, Kathmandu or India.
- Once villagers leave the region, they often do not return. As a result, much is lost as it relates to the treasured culture and religion that is practiced in this region.
Those that live in Upper Mustang today do so in a very traditional manner. From the origins of the villages through to today, the culture, religion and herbal medicinal practices have seen little change. Preserving these practices while supporting the community is vital to the region’s survival.
Objectives of the project:
We provided a team of medical doctors and professionals that will provide free checkups and assess the health of each individual that attends the medical campaign. Medicines, traditional Tibetan herbals and acupuncture, cupping therapy, moxa, massage etc, were dispensed as needed.
Last year, Himalayan Guge Organization (HGO) provided Sorig free medical campaign in Mustang and we are happy to arrange this second trip to provide the crucial follow-ups and long term care needed by the villagers. Many of the villagers, due to lack of proper medical services, have never had a proper checkup with a qualified physician. Instead they have relied on practices found in folklore and/or local shamans. People have often remained sick after these treatments or have had more tragic results from the lack of a proper treatment. SKIN plans to provide consistent and competent treatment to all individuals that attend the campaign.
One of SKIN’s main purposes is to promote and preserve the traditional Tibetan medical practice of Sowa Rigpa, or Sorig, the Science of Healing. This is why the primary services provided in the medical campaign to the villagers in Upper Mustang are that of Sowa Rigpa. The Sowa Rigpa services will be supplemented with traditional medicines, if the issue faced by the individual calls for such treatment.
Promoting and preserving the traditional practices of Sowa Rigpa is also the most economically and environmentally responsible approach for the region. Sowa Rigpa medicinal is created from herbs primarily found in the region and are therefore more readily available than western medicinal. Sowa Rigpa medicine has been practiced in the Himalayan region of Nepal for centuries. The proximity of the raw materials (herbs) to make the medicinal makes it much more cost effective than western medicinal. Western medicinal is only available in larger towns and distant health centers/hospitals.
We look forward to partnering with contributors that will help us make this program and all ongoing campaigns a reality. It is with YOUR help that we all can make a positive difference in the lives of the people of Upper Mustang.
Benefits of the project
There is a saying that “Health is wealth.” This medical campaign brought great wealth to the all villages and had a ripple effected on neighboring villages as the health of the villagers in the region improves. In addition, greater awareness of the health benefits of healthier living practices will be of great benefit to the region.
That was accomplished as the medical campaign imparts:
- Guidance and information on the proper use of medicines. This includes the identification and use of local herbs; the harvesting, cleaning and processing of these herbs for best medicinal results. The information imparted here will be specific to the region and will be geared to sustainable practices that will promote the ongoing planting and harvesting of the regional herbs.
- Medical treatment from qualified doctors for the immediate needs of the villagers that attend the medical campaign. That medical treatment may include issuing medicines or specific practices that are to be followed, as well as, treatments as directed by Sowa Rigpa practices.
- Identifying ongoing medical needs of each individual that attended the campaign. The Needs identified include any follow up needs and/or long term care needs. That was a critical aspect of the overall campaign as it was helped determine the frequency and timing of campaigns to follow.
- The proper way to take medicines given the individual’s needs (i.e., with water or food or nothing).
- Awareness of how to combat suffering from common ailments like gastritis, digestive system problems, blood pressure, diabetes, joint and back pains and other endemic distresses.
- Improved awareness of the importance of a balanced diet and hygienic foods. Of equal importance is the cleanliness of body, home and the surrounding environments in the village. Also discussed is the importance of clean drinking water and fresh air for overall good health.
Over the three and half days of medical camp, we treated 349 patients with the youngest patient at 18 months and oldest patient at 80 years old.
|Age group of Patients||No. of Patients|
|Below 25 year
|Between 26yrs – 59yrs||254
|Total number of Patients||349|
|Gender||No. of Patients|
|Total Number of Male Patients||139
|Total Number of Female Patients||210|
|Total Number of Patients||349
|Sorig Aid provided these Sorig herbal medicine to patients during the medical campaign|
|Agar -8||Durbril||Gurgum-13||Holshe-25||Dali-16||Thuglo Kushel||Gurkhung|
|Agar-35||Kyuru-25||Chisin||Sugmel-10||Dhashel Chenmo||Lotsed Kushel||Jitang-7|
|Agar -15||Dheyung||Gawa-16||Aru-10||Tsenden-18||Thagchoed Gurgum-7||Sarkhung|
|Agar-20||Gundum-7||Pang Gyen-15||Aru-18||Rilped||Rinchen Jurmor-25||Galo|
|Bimala||Ruta-6||Samnor||Chini Aru-18||Khung-5||Rinchen Yunging-25||Tarbu-19|
Thanks and appreciation from Sorig Aid & SKIN:
We truly believe that individuals can and do make a difference in society. Periods of great change, such as the present one that is upon us now, provide us all with wonderful opportunities…and it is up to each of us to capture these moments to make the world a better place. It is up to each of us to make the best use of our time and resources to help create a happier and better world. The medical campaign was one of our attempts to capture and frame this moment to better this world we live in.
We would like to heartily thank Mr Tashi Dhundup, President of Shree Buddha Shanti Youth Club-Tsarang, Nurses, all other members, Uncle Lobsang and Sis Lhakpa Dolkar during our Mustang trip.
And thanks to our local team, Raj Shrestha Kumar for his coordination for both camps. And of course, thanks to Dr.Tenjing Dharge and Dr.Sonam Sherpa for leading the group to Mustang and Maratika respectively. And thanks to our guides, Tashi Phuntshok, Phurba Sherpa, Tashi Sherpa and all helpers and volunteers. And most of all, to all participants, who gave their time, effort and money, without which the trips will not be the same. And also thanks to our donors and those who contributed medical aids; Holger Budin and Peter Zucchi from Austria for the valuable first aid supplies, Christiana Polites from USA and Daphne Choo from Singapore for the acupuncture needles. You all made this project possible!
“A beautiful experience — true happiness comes from helping others. We hope in the future to have many more free medical camps around the world. Thank you everyone”
~ Dr. Nida Chenagtsang
THANK YOU / DHANYABHAT / THUJECHE
“Thank you Jacqueline, for allowing me to be part of the raw experience humbly received with gratitude. It was a magical soul discovering journey indeed.
Participating in all the medical experience opening another horizon of my practice, feeling blessed. Thank You”
~ Nik Satunah Adis, Mustang Medical Camp
Report prepared by Jacqueline Yu, with the help of Tashi Phuntsok, Dr.Tenjing Dharge Gurung, Dr.Sonam Sherpa.
15th April 2017
* Sorig First Aid, the charity arm of SKI will now be named Sorig Aid to reflect the new direction of this project. Sorig First Aid was borne out of emergency due to the massive earthquake in Nepal in 2015. At that time the name reflected the need to reach out to those in urgent need for help. Now, we want to move beyond emergency aid to bring medical camps to not only Nepal, but to all parts of the world where our work is needed. Your continual support is important for us to realize this mission.
All donations can now be remitted to:
|SKI Bank Account
Beneficiary’s Name: Internationale Stiftung Sorig Khang
Name of Bank: Bank fuer Sozialwirtschaft AG
Kindly state your donation for ‘SORIG AID’. Thank you very much!