The Himalayan Trust has been working to improve the health and well-being of communities in the Everest region for over 50 years.
It all began when Sir Edmund Hillary funded and built two hospitals, Kunde hospital in 1966 and Phaplu hospital in 1975, as well as several village health clinics in the Everest region.
The Himalayan Trust has provided funding, training and medical supplies and recruited volunteer doctors, many of them from New Zealand, to help run the hospitals.
The achievements in community health since the hospitals and health clinics were established are remarkable – the near eradication of TB, the elimination of goitre and cretinism through iodine injections, as well as major improvements in maternal care.
Thanks to our supporters, the Himalayan Trust continues to help improve the health of communities in the Everest region today.
Together we are improving the health of the whole community in the remote community of Bung, especially the health of women and babies.
Last year, Himalayan Trust supporters provided new equipment and furniture for the health post in Bung. Now, your support is making it possible to train a health assistant and an auxiliary nurse/midwife for the clinic. It’s also enabling the project team to work with women and mother groups to understand the main health concerns they face and to make sure the health post is equipped to deal with these issues.
Read more on the Bung clinic upgrate
“Water is the most important part of life – without it we can’t do anything,” says Pandi from Musey Village.
With support from the Himalayan Trust, the village of Musey will soon complete a new water system to replace their old tank that was destroyed in the 2015 earthquakes.
In Lukla, the completed Lukla Drinking Water project now pipes clean, safe water underground to benefit over 3000 people. Before the new water system was in place, people would have to use unreliable sources of water, often having to walk up to an hour to find water.
From 1966 until 2002 the hospitals were staffed by young volunteer doctors, many of them from New Zealand, with the help of Nepali staff.
For the last 14, the hospitals have been fully staffed by Nepali medical professionals.
Dr Mingmar Tshering Sherpa from the village of Thame, is currently completing a two-year placement at Kunde Hospital.
He believes Sir Ed would be very happy if he was able to see how the hospital was operating today.
“This is what Sir Ed wanted; we have our own hospital with our own doctors.”
It was a landmark achievement when former Health Worker Kami Temba, qualified as Dr Kami Temba and became first Nepali doctor-in-charge at the Hospital.
The inspiring story of how Dr Kami came to be the first doctor-in-charge at Kunde hospital is a story that spans the whole of the Himalayan Trust’s aid work in the Everest region.
During an expedition in 1963, Sir Ed’s climbing team encountered an outbreak of smallpox – a disease that had been effectively treated elsewhere in the world with a vaccine. Sir Ed, with the help of the doctor attached to the expedition, Phil Houghton, managed to organise an urgent supply of the vaccination. They vaccinated over 3000 people and succeeded in preventing a wider smallpox epidemic.
For Sir Ed, the success of this medical intervention demonstrated the strong need for health care in the Khumbu region – and the huge impact a hospital in the area could have.
You can read more about the fascinating history of the Himalayan hospitals and the incredible tales from the heroic Kiwi doctors who staffed the hospitals in the book Himalayan Hospitals by Dr Mike Gill.