Health Survey in Tsum Valley
Health advisor Frances Howland visited Tsum in June 2005, to assess the health situation in the valley. During the visit she visited many villages in the area, interviewing a number of residents of the valley. Her report below gives a vivid image of the overall health situation, a result of extreme poverty combined with lack access to health facilities and and trained health care workers. The Tsum Project is working on improving this area of daily life for the sangha and lay community of the tsum valley.
A State of Health
The objective of the visit was as follows -
- Conduct a health survey to assess the health care needs.
- To visit and assess existing health care workers and facilities.
- To provide medicines for the treatment of acute illnesses.
- To identify future health care workers who can be trained.
- To make a proposal for the next step.
Over one hundred sick people were seen and treated for a variety of illnesses. These varied from a lady we met on the trail who had just been bitten by a dog and another lady bitten on the face by a chicken to a young boy who had a severe fracture of his femur from a falling rock. He had been in bed unable to move for a number of weeks. He was transported back to Kathmandu and received treatment at the orthopedic hospital there, with the cost covered by the Tsum project. Without he help of the project, with no medical facilities nearby, he would have been crippled for life.
We met a number of fathers coping alone because their wife had died in childbirth from hemorrhage. Two men had baby twins to look after on their own.
Many of the older monks and nuns had high blood pressure and arthritic joint pains. Gastric problems and eye problems were amongst the most frequent complaints from all adults, while children mostly had intestinal worms, cough and cold and ear infections.
Many older people had cataract. An early success of this visit has been the organization of an eye screening camp during which reading glasses were handed out to those in need, and simple eye problems received treatment. A camp for removal of cataract and implantation of intra ocular lens for more than 70 people is planned to take place in Spring 2006.
Please see the complete report for details.
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