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.
35-year-old female presents with multiple bilateral joint pain beginning 18 months previously and had received a diagnosis of…
20-year-old male patient presents with decreased mental capacity, which his mother states has been present since birth. He…
60-year-old female presents with spinal trauma sequela consisting of constant mid- to high grade pain and restricted flexion…
80-year-old male presents with vomiting 20 minutes after each meal for 2 years. At the time of initial…
In the aftermath of the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake, this episode explores the challenges of providing basic medical access for people living in rural areas.
Acupuncture Relief Project tackles complicated medical cases through accurate assessment and the cooperation of both governmental and non-governmental agencies.
Cooperation with the local government yields a unique opportunities to establish a new integrated medicine outpost in Bajra Barahi, Makawanpur, Nepal.
Complicated medical cases require extraordinary effort. This episode follows 4-year-old Sushmita in her battle with tuberculosis.
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.
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.
This episode looks at the people and the process of creating a new generation of Nepali rural health providers.
In this 2011, documentary, Film-maker Tristan Stoch successfully illustrates many of the complexities of providing primary medical care in a third world environment.
“Finding our own definition of success means becoming aware of what we value. Often, this means rinsing years of conditioned thinking from our minds.” - Anonymous
I recently returned home to Portland Oregon after spending two months working as a volunteer at Acupuncture Relief Project (ARP) in rural Nepal. Within my first year of school at Oregon College of Oriental Medicine I knew that after I graduated from my MAOM program, I wanted to go work for ARP and Good Health Nepal. At that time, little did I know what it would actually mean for me professionally and personally. I can say without a doubt, working in an integrated clinic in rural Nepal these last few months was the most transformative journey I have ever undergone. To emphasize the enormity of such a statement I would like to share that my background includes extensive travel to 27 countries, 7-years as an Expat in Spain, two Master’s programs, 4 businesses (2 sole proprietorships, 2 LLC’s), a professional career in Business Admin, a significant history of personal health challenges and a recent separation from a six-year marriage.
Dear friends and donors,
I want to thank you all for your continued interest and generosity towards our ongoing work in rural Nepal.
March 16th, in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Acupuncture Relief Project suspended clinical operations in Makwanpur Nepal by closing our Bajrabarahi clinic along with its associated satellite clinics. Our foreign volunteers were transported back to Kathmandu where they were directed to immediately depart for their home countries by their respective embassies. Elissa Chapman, our Clinic Director, was on the last flight leaving Nepal on March 22nd before the airport was closed (and now remains closed).
Following the closure of the clinic, we paid to have a Nepali community health doctor travel to Bajrabarahi to spend several days training local health workers and staff in the prevention of Coronavirus infection. We also made our clinic facilities available to the local government to be used as an emergency hospital as needed.
At this point, with all of our volunteers safely returned to their home countries and our staff under a “stay at home” order, we are in the same holding pattern as the rest of the world. So far Nepal has few confirmed cases, however, the government has been slow to react and like many developing countries, Nepal lacks the fundamental resources and infrastructure to combat a severe outbreak. All we can do is wait and hope for the best.
We will reopen our clinic as soon as we receive clearance from the health authorities and hope to return foreign volunteer practitioners to the clinic to resume primary care services in early September. Your generous contributions help maintain our staff during this time of crisis and will also be used to restart our clinic operations in the aftermath.
Please consider a donation to help continue our work by visiting our website and donating at https://acupuncturereliefproject.org/donate. Acupuncture Relief Project is a volunteer-based, 501(c)3 non-profit organization (Tax ID: 26-3335265). Donations are tax deductible in the United States (and other countries) as allowed by law.
I sincerely hope that you, your family and your community are all well and safe as we all transcend this strange set of circumstances together. One world family.
Andrew Schlabach EAMP LAc (USA)
President, Acupuncture Relief Project
Basanti is a 32 year old woman from the small village of Bajrabarahi, about three to four hours from Kathmandu (depending on your mode of transport). Ten years ago she fell in love with Dikpal; they married and had a child together. She presented at the clinic with stage four breast and brain cancer that had metastasized, possibly spreading to her bones.
Basanti was carried into the clinic by her husband in the early morning. Requesting a bucket be placed beside her bed, within minutes she was throwing up. It was Basanti's first visit to the clinic, her chief complaint being nausea and a one-sided temporal headache. For the past fifteen days she had been vomiting intermittently due to the severity of her pain. The constant sharpness in her left temple was so severe she had been bed ridden for weeks, struggling to keep food and water down. Basanti was initially hesitant to disclose her recent history, possibly because she was weary of further medical intervention. After some time she revealed she had had a mastectomy on her right breast eight months prior, followed by six courses of chemotherapy and twenty-five days of radiation therapy. Almost as an afterthought, she told me of a lump on the left breast that had been itchy for the past few months.