One of our initial goals with AHCN was to reach an area that was as rural as possible, where we would document the health care situation. Rukum is not a frequently visited are by tourists and in effect it was virtually impossible to find out how long it would take to reach a given village prior to our departure. Due to a limited budget we only had one day to walk and we wanted to reach all the way to Sisne. While we did not manage to reach Sisne village it self (at the foot of Sisne peak), we did reach the village of Bhattechaur, which is located in the Sisne Village Development Committee region.
We suspected on the way, that we would have a long walk ahead of us. The locals had told that Bhattechaur took a full day to reach. We quickly found out however, that a distance which would take a local a day too reach may very well take two days for a city folks. Finally we ended up walking 14 hours to reach our goal before we, with soar feet and aching legs, reached Bhattechaur and had the best portion of traditional Nepali food in our lives.
Before proceeding to Rukumkot, we had a meeting with Mr. Bharat Sharma, the Local Development Officer of Rukum, to talk about the health care needs of the district, and about and how AHCN and possibly also EWH could help the region. We agreed with Mr. Bharat Sharma to arrange a visit to the Salle Bajjar District Hospital that very same day (post about the visit coming up tomorrow). Furthermore Mr. Bharat Sharma ensured that it would be possible to bring EWH volunteers to the region and we agreed to collaborate in phase 2 and 3 of the AHCN effort in Rukum.
Musikot (in the same area as Jumlikhalanga and Salle Bajjar) is the administrative centre of Rukum. Dr. Justin of our team lived here while still a child, before moving to Kathmandu. During our visit we stayed at their beautiful traditional Nepali house, where Justins grandmother still lives.
During our stay we also met Mr. Chandra Bahadur Malla, a teacher from Rukumkot, who would be our guide on the way to Sisne and back the following 3 days.
It’s not always easy to conduct health projects in a country with an infrastructure like Nepal.
The last two days the AHCR has had meetings with Professor at Chitwan Medical College, Dr. Harish Chandra Neupane and Mr. Nirmal Rimal, project coordinator at AMDA Nepal. Both have shown a great support of our work. We are truly thankful for the guidance of Dr. Harish and Mr. Nirmal Rimal!
Furthermore AHCR has initiated a collaboration with Mr. Nirmal Rimal of AMDA-Nepal and through them, we will assist the Nepali Red Cross in Rukum to perform HIV/AIDS tests of the people we will treat.