This winter I have been given the opportunity to travel as a Volunteer Clinician to serve a community in the hills of the Himalayas. I will be part of a team of practitioners serving in the rural farming village Bhotechaur, Nepal, about 60 miles outside the capital city of Kathmandu. I will have local Napali health workers who have been apprenticing in Traditional Chinese Medicine, continuing to study under me while I perform acupuncture in the clinic 6 days a week for 2 months.
Nepal is one of the poorest developing countries with a healthcare system that is essentially non-existent. Major illnesses and causes of death in developing countries are heart disease, respiratory infections, perinatal diseases, diarrhea, infectious diseases and stroke. In Nepalese communities, there are also high levels of chronic pain and antibiotics immunity. Many of these illnesses are difficult to treat with Western medicine even when it is readily available. There is, however, great healing and treatment that can be provided by acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, especially when Eastern and Western medicine work together.
above: Bhotechaur Clinic location in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal
The Bhotechaur Clinic opened its doors in 2003 as part of the Bright Futures Foundation. The clinic serves approximately 200 people living in the town and another 50,000 people living within a 15 mile radius or up to 4 hours on foot. The clinic is staffed 6 days a week with emergency care service available 24 hours a day. Often times this care is dedicated to birthing mothers since the site is officially designated as a Regional Birthing Center. There are 12 rooms in the 2,400 square foot clinic where anything from immunizations, minor surgery, to dental and eye care is provided by the staff. Since 2012, Mindful Medicine Worldwide has been staffing the clinic with volunteer Traditional Chinese Medicine doctors and acupuncturists. I will be working with MD's, Midwives, Dentists, Acupuncturists and other healthcare providers to ensure the continued care of these patients and to provide health education.
How you can help
Please consider donating to help in my vision to create a sustainable health care environment for an under-served population. This "barefoot doctor" model of apprenticeship, is a personal practice of generosity I wish to offer the world. I am so fortunate to have been born a Canadian citizen and am grateful for my awareness of the inequalities of healthcare, opportunity and general resources in the world today. Residing in a country in a position of power, I feel a strong sense of responsibility to bypass the Western culture's egocentric ideas of progress and work directly with people in need.
above: Mindful Medicine volunteer performing acupuncture.
"Mindfulness can go beyond our daily practice and awareness of ourselves into knowing and being conscious of the state of our world and health system as it is today. Why else would you choose to volunteer in a developing area if not because of your awareness of the lack of equality in health care, general resources, and opportunities in our world. Being mindful of these inequalities we are compelled to do our part to alleviate just some of the suffering, which results from these inequalities." - Excerpt from Mindful Medicine Worldwide website
Thank you for your generosity!
If you would like to make a direct personal donation, please contact me and I will provide my email address for PayPal money transfers!
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