News Blog

 Latest News From Our Volunteers 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.

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Episode 1
Rural Primary Care

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

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Episode 2
Integrated Medicine

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

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Episode 3
Working With The Government

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

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Episode 4
Case Management

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

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Episode 5
Sober Recovery

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.

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Episode 6
The Interpreters

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.

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Episode 7
Future Doctors of Nepal

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

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Compassion Connects
2012 Pilot Episode

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

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From Our Blog

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Sugandhi Jordan

In the foothills of the Himalayas, Bhajra Barahi is made up of steep hills, the slopes of which have been terraced for farming. These plots of rice, cauliflower, mustard, squash, corn and radish cascade down toward the deep valleys with houses dotted all along the way. The main Bazaar of town has a busy road with busses and trucks rumbling through, but within a short distance the roads stops. Many homes and communities and their surrounding farmlands are accessible only by foot. Narrow foot-paths or rock walk-ways traverse through the forest and fields between the terraces. These paths are frequented by women carrying huge baskets resting on their backs and strapped over their foreheads that are full of vegetables, grass for animal feed, or wood from the forest that they will use for cooking fires. 

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Sugandhi Jordan

People work very hard putting in long hours almost everyday. Most of our patients are farmers from the surrounding communities. Some live very close, others walk more than 3 hours to make their appointments. 

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Sugandhi Jordan

One of the most common complaints in the clinic is knee pain. I’d wager that it’s the chief complain of at least 1/3 of my patients. Most of the knee patients are older ladies who’ve worked their knees hard their entire lives. These ‘knee-ladies’ are the same ladies who carry the baskets. At first myself and the other acupuncturists were curious why knee pain was so common here. After just a few walks exploring the surrounding country side, we wondered no more as we passed these ladies in flip flops with basket loads that looked bigger than their bodies. No wonder!

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Sugandhi Jordan

During my first week of clinic as the knee-ladies, and a few knee-gents kept rolling in, I remember thinking “okay, more knee pain, no big deal, pretty straight forward…” It was interesting to treat, but I was waiting for the more ‘exciting stuff.’ At first the knee pain just didn’t seem as interesting or challenging as internal medicine complaints like COPD or stroke recovery. That all quickly changed! 

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Sugandhi Jordan

Much work here is done squatting in fields or on roof-tops cleaning the day’s harvest. Toilets here are all the squat style as well. Healthy knees are essential in order to walk and to squat. One of my patients commented, “I have to stand to use the toilet like a dog.” Having your knees give up on you has major consequences here. 

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Sugandhi Jordan

As the knee patients kept filtering in and I got to know them better, I started to have much more respect and reverence for the knee. Managing the osteoarthritis of a 60 year-old women who is still carrying heavy baskets of wood and grass up and down steep hillsides all the time is more challenging that I first imagined! 

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Sugandhi Jordan

Although a complete resolution of symptoms is unlikely for all of these women, regular acupuncture combined with herbs helps to reduce the pain and inflammation and slow down disease progression. Some progress quickly, and others more slowly, but I’m happy to say that most of my knee patients are making at least some progress. It’s heartening to see them come into the clinic smiling because they were able to walk further without rest or they recently could start squatting again. Hopefully by the end of the camp I’ll have become a master of the knee! -- Sugandhi Jordan

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Sugandhi Jordan



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Acupuncture Relief Project, Inc. is a volunteer-based, 501(c)3 non-profit organization (Tax ID: 26-3335265). Our mission is to provide free medical support to those affected by poverty, conflict or disaster while offering an educationally meaningful experience to influence the professional development and personal growth of compassionate medical practitioners.

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