Yes, then who are we?
We are doctors and have gotten to know and love Nepal after several trips. Personal contacts have been cultivated over the years and private friends have been supported. After the devastating earthquake in 2015, we asked ourselves how we can help personally, especially in the mountainous region of Tamang (north of Kathmandu on the border to Tibet / China) where our family friends live. After much back and forth we decided to make a medicine trek through the villages that we already know in this region. With our medical training in psychotherapy / general medicine / anesthesia / emergency medicine, we felt prepared to meet and help the physically and mentally traumatized people. Many people and institutions supported us with material and donations for our project, which was still private at the time. With 40 kg of medication and medical supplies in our luggage, we flew to Kathmandu on February 25, 2016. There we again bought much more needed medicine. We then drove to our destination by Jeep and walked door to door through the Tamang Heritage Region.
If you would like to learn more about us, please read on (or see also projects):
Many people in Nepal are psychologically traumatized by the earthquake. The worst consequences, such as the death of a relative or injury, are not even in the foreground. The loss of your house as a refuge is worse. Even many houses that still stand in the villages are at risk of collapse due to the local construction method, which only provides for a layer of stones without concrete. These collapsed houses must be completely removed and rebuilt.
Nepalese civil engineers have visited the villages and inspected the houses. But since people have no money for concrete, the ruins of the house stand still and the people live in front of them in tents or corrugated iron huts. Intact stone houses are also avoided, many Nepalese do not want to live in houses with more than two floors. As a result, entire slum areas are made up of tents and corrugated iron huts. Many locals have moved from their destroyed villages to the capital city Kathmandu. But most of the poor people from the mountainous region will hardly be able to gain a foothold in the expensive urban environment.
Dhanjabad (Many Thanks)!!
We want to say thank you to everyone who has supported us financially.
Many warm wishes accompanied and supported us in our work.
Thanks to many generous donations, we were able to buy plenty of medications and bandages and treat a large number of patients.
In the towns of Gatlang, Gonggang, Thuman, Briddhim and Khangjim Consultations lasting several days were carried out under the simplest conditions. These were very tiring days. There is a dialect here in this area and a mentality change from village to village but the people were very grateful. Our Nepalese friend (and interpreter) and we were completely exhausted after each day of our door to door treatments. Despite the amount of work, we enjoyed it.
Many people live in shelters near their destroyed houses. The rainy season and winter are very hard. There is no prospect of improvement. The essential illnesses ultimately arise from the poor conditions. Lung diseases, gastrointestinal infections, parasites, but also all forms of joint diseases, from arthritis to rheumatic diseases, were most frequently seen. Many people suffered from the threat of losing their eyesight. No local person wears sunglasses at the relatively high altitudes (2000-3000 m). Due to the increased UV radiation, the gray discoloration of the lens (cataracts) could already be seen in middle age adults at 45 years of age.
We thought a lot about how it will go on with the people when we pack up again and are gone. Will they wait for the next trekkers?
Was our engagement just the famous “Drop in the Bucket”?
We developed new ideas during our medical journey and are now pursuing a project on how we can combine existing medical resources with one another.
In the villages, people hope for the Western “miracle pill”, with which they will be cured of all their complaints.
But there will never be one. Sustainable help from outside can only be “Help by self-help”. The local health posts in Briddhim and Syarphrubesi are hardly noticed by the population, although we were able to convince ourselves of the good training of the paramedics. In addition, many people are not aware of the help at the health posts. The closest hospital, in Dhunche, is about a 2 hour drive. The examination is free of charge here. For the people, the journey there is priceless but one would have to try to coordinate transport to the existing Nepalese medical care facilities.
Thought, done. We therefore decided to go to the district hospital in Dhunche . It was also badly destroyed in the earthquake, but still offers a good medical care structure. We had already read some of the medical reports during our trek and the doctors made a competent impression. They studied at the university in Nepal and the training corresponds to our Western medicine. There is a good basis for general medical care and general clinical treatment. However, many medical devices are out of date or have been destroyed.
During our short visit to the clinic, we were able to establish good contact with the doctors, which was later deepened with many email contacts.
In agreement with the doctors of the hospital, we have planned our next steps and we have already started implementing parts of our project.
The first step, was to support the hospital in order to guarantee medical care for the people. On our behalf, Dawa bought an oxygen device and an EKG device for the hospital in Kathmandu from the remaining donations. With a small celebration, the devices in the hospital were accepted with joy. These devices will enable better care for patients in the future.
Our second step, was to finance a weekly patient transport from the mountain villages to the hospital in Dhunche. We plan to rent existing jeeps from the region. Dawa will organize the transports and advertise our project on site.
The Nepalhilfe Straubenhardt e.V. (Nepal Aid e.V.) Association has now been founded and we are implementing our projects. Friends, relatives and acquaintances have supported us in this.
Further goals of the Association are measures to promote health and education in the region. We are thinking of arranging sponsorships for seriously ill, poor patients to pay for their treatment costs. Furthermore these sponsorships would also be for children of poor families or orphans to pay for their schooling or training costs.
Despite all the destruction, we want to encourage you to visit Nepal. The destruction of some of the cultural monuments will not disrupt the experience of the “First Visit“. The trekking routes are mostly all again accessible. The trek in the Langtang valley is also again possible. Many Nepalese have broken away from the region after the earthquake.
To help Nepal it is important that tourism gets going again. The income from the tourists ensure the survival of the locals. If you want to help but would not consider a trip to Nepal, we would like to ask you to support our Association by donating money.
Please contact us.
Even small amounts can make a big difference in Nepal!!
Our thanks go to everyone who supported us in our project.
- Thanks to everyone who fed our donation fund in Conweiler and supported them with clothes and shoes.
- Thank you for your trust that we will handle your donations well.
- Thanks to all colleagues who supported us financially.
- Many thanks to the people who made our project their own and in turn to our volunteers who help with our events and projects (ex. on birthdays and other festivities).
**A special thanks goes to the Siloah St. Trudpert Hospital in Pforzheim and to the Black Forest Pharmacy in Schwann, who very generously supported us.
Thank you everyone for your commitment, which has made our work possible.
Dhanjabad (Many Thanks)!!