• objective outcomes

    Our volunteers hone their clinical skills by properly assessing their patient's condition and setting achievable outcome goals.
  • confidence

    Our volunteers acquire the confidence to serve as primary care providers, treating 15 to 25 patients per day in our community style clinic.
  • Research Focused

    Conducting research studies and documenting patient cases helps us analyze the efficacy of our clinic and contribute to the body of evidence that supports our project model.
  • Cultural Immersion

    Before we can provide effective medical care we must first learn to understand how our patients live.
  • rural nepal

    Home to eight of the highest mountains in the world including Mt. Everest, Nepal remains one of the poorest countries in the world.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
image

Our Mission

Our unique model provides effective, efficient, primary care in rural Nepal. Read More
image

Our Clinics

Since 2008, our clinics have provided over 350,000 primary care visits. Read More
image

Our Partners

Influencing government policy and achieving educational goals. Read More
image

Volunteer With Us

We need your help. Serve others while learning new skills. Read More
image

Our Evidence

Case studies and field research helps us analyze our efficacy. Read More
  • 1
  • 1

VOLUNTEER COMMUNITY CARE CLINICS IN NEPAL

Nepal remains one of the poorest countries in the world and has been plagued with political unrest and military conflict for the past decade. In 2015, a pair of major earthquakes devastated this small and fragile country. 

Since 2008, the Acupuncture Relief Project has provided over 300,000 treatments to patients living in rural villages outside of Kathmandu Nepal. Our efforts include the treatment of patients living without access to modern medical care as well as people suffering from extreme poverty, substance abuse and social disfranchisement.

Common conditions include musculoskeletal pain, digestive pain, hypertension, diabetes, stroke rehabilitation, uterine prolapse, asthma, and recovery from tuberculosis treatment, typhoid fever, and surgery.

Read More

Featured Case Studies

  • Typhoid Fever Induced Paralysis +

    32-year-old female presents with left-sided paralysis of upper and lower limbs. At age 12, the patient suffered from Read More
  • Ganglion Cyst +

    11-year-old female presents with large lump over left radial artery at radial styloid process, causing pain to the Read More
  • Bilateral Hip and Low Back Pain +

    19-year-old male presents with trauma-related chronic hip and low back pain with limits in range-of-motion that interferes with Read More
  • Chronic Headache (Typhoid Fever Sequela) +

    43-year-old female presents with a severe headache. 9 months ago, the patient contracted Typhoid fever. During the illness, Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12

Compassion Connect : Documentary Series

  • image

    In the aftermath of the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake, this episode explores the challenges of providing basic medical access for people living in rural areas.

    Watch Episode

    Episode 1: Rural Primary Care

  • image

    Acupuncture Relief Project tackles complicated medical cases through accurate assessment and the cooperation of both governmental and non-governmental agencies.

    Watch Episode

    EPISODE 2: INTEGRATED MEDICINE

  • image

    Cooperation with the local government yields a unique opportunities to establish a new integrated medicine outpost in Bajra Barahi, Makawanpur, Nepal.

    Watch Episode

    EPISODE 3: WORKING WITH THE GOVERNMENT

  • image

    Complicated medical cases require extraordinary effort. This episode follows 4-year-old Sushmita in her battle with tuberculosis.

    Watch Episode

    EPISODE 4: CASE MANAGEMENT

  • image

    Drug and alcohol abuse is a constant issue in both rural and urban areas of Nepal. Local customs and few treatment facilities prove difficult obstacles.

    Watch Episode

    EPISODE 5: SOBER RECOVERY

  • image

    Interpreters help make a critical connection between patients and practitioners. This episode explores the people that make our medicine possible and what it takes to do the job.

    Watch Episode

    EPISODE 6: THE INTERPRETERS

  • image

    This episode looks at the people and the process of creating a new generation of Nepali rural health providers.

    Watch Episode

    EPISODE 7: FUTURE DOCTORS OF NEPAL

  • image

    In this 2011, documentary, Film-maker Tristan Stoch successfully illustrates many of the complexities of providing primary medical care in a third world environment.

    Watch Episode

    COMPASSION CONNECTS: 2012 PILOT EPISODE

  • 1

From Our Blog

 

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Kimberly Shields

When I started fundraising for this volunteer trip, many friends asked me why I chose to come to Nepal with ARP, and my simple response was, “to step out of my comfort zone.”  I have very limited international travel experience, and I knew that providing healthcare in a developing country for an extended period of time would challenge me on various levels, providing me with an opportunity for both personal and professional growth.

Fast-forward to my 8-hour layover in Istanbul, Turkey, en route to Nepal.  As I roamed the airport, I realized that several conversations were happening around me in languages unfamiliar to my English-speaking tongue, and I suddenly felt a loss of connection within an airport full of people.  My ears searched for words of my native language amongst the crowds of people in transit and waiting, but to no avail.  Finally, after some time, I heard English words spoken from the mouth of someone sitting at a table adjacent to mine, and I initiated a conversation with the man who spoke those words that were familiar to me.  Only a few hours had passed since I stepped off the plane, but I was already longing to connect with someone amongst the crowd of foreign travelers.

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Kimberly Shields

When my flight arrived in Kathmandu, there was a lot of confusion amongst passengers about the process of obtaining a visa.  One older gentlemen was having a problem with the visa machine, and urgently trying to solicit our help in his native tongue, Italian, but no one could understand him.  After my failed attempt at trying to pick out pieces of his language in order to assist him, the Finnish man I had befriended on the plane said to me, “It’s difficult when you don’t have a common language.”

How do I find a way to connect with patients when we don’t share a common language? As a practitioner, we rely heavily upon verbal and body cues from our patients.  Now I’m in a setting where the patients’ verbal cues, and even many of their body cues, are communicated through the interpreter.  The interpreters play a vital role in the patient-practitioner relationship here, but my direct connection to the patient becomes lost through translation, so my challenge has been to find other methods of connecting with patients.

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Kimberly Shields

I asked myself how I could demonstrate to my patients that I was actively engaged in their treatments.  The first thing that came to mind was through direct eye contact.  When I speak with patients, I make a valiant effort to look directly at them.  At times, it has proven to be more difficult to remember to do than others.  My tendency is to want to look at the interpreters, as they speak the language that’s familiar to my ears, and perhaps, even more so now that we’ve developed a rapport over my time here.  I’ve also noticed that a patient’s tendency is to also look at the interpreter, as they speak their native language.  Many of the patients have been coming to clinic long before I started here, and they too, have developed a rapport with the interpreters, most of whom live within the community.  Yet there are also many moments in which I do make direct eye contact with patients as I’m asking questions or giving advice, and in these moments, my perspective shifts from a practitioner trying to solve a problem, to a person connecting with another person, in spite of our language and cultural differences.

Another means of connecting with my patients has been through touch.  As many of the patients are coming in with pain conditions— usually a by-product of wear and tear from years of manual labor— I use palpation, both as a diagnostic tool and as a means of connection.  I feel for areas of tenderness around the knee, as the patient describes his/her level and quality of pain.  I palpate the back to feel for areas of tightness and tenderness, and any vertebral subluxations or spinal misalignments.  If a patient complains of abdominal pain, I feel for certain signs, such as McBurney’s (appendicitis), and palpate the abdomen as I talk to the patient about symptoms, to get an idea as to which organs are involved.  A couple of weeks ago, I developed a ritual of applying oils for pain on most patients.  Although medically beneficial, I’ve found myself using the oils more so as another avenue of physically connecting with my patients at the end of their treatments.

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Kimberly Shields

My favorite way of connecting with patients is through laughter.  Usually patients are in pain or sick when they enter the clinic.  Sometimes cracking a joke lightens the mood, and makes the patient feel more at ease.  When I feel the stress of getting through my patient load for the day, humor and laughter help to alleviate the pressure.  I find that the days in which I laugh more feel lighter, regardless of the types of ailments I treated that day.  I hope that when I laugh with patients, it enables them to get a glimpse of me beyond my white coat, as I know it allows me to pause for a moment and create a deeper connection beyond that of patient-practitioner— creating that connection with a fellow human being. --- Kimberly Shields

Latest Instagram

Follow Us on Facebook

Support our work

Donate Volunteer Get in Touch

Support Us