Although our provision of smokeless stoves, toilets and clean water supplies at many schools has gone some way to offset health problems in Aruchour, we have always been aware of the need for more major investment into improving health prospects in the village.
Outbreaks of typhoid in the monsoon season are common, throat and chest problems go largely untreated and women have little access to gynaecological assistance.
Then in March 2012 we learned that Jhapat Bahadur Chetri (pictured left, husband of Sita, our smokeless stove builder) had died from TB at the age of 53, leaving a family of four. He had received only limited treatment at on the onset of the illness.
Shocked by the continuing lack of education as well as lack of provision, we are now determined to tackle some of the existing health problems in the village.
During our most recent visit, Tej Kumari – who featured on the front cover of our 2011 calendar – had such a serious infestation of head lice she had to have her head shaved completely to allow the infected areas to heal.
This, coupled with the death of Sita’s husband, inspired the start of the Tilden Project Nepal Aruchour Health Fund.
The Health Post needs upgrading and properly equipping, extensive “clean water” projects need to be undertaken and improved health education must be introduced into the schools.
So in May 2012 we initiated a specific fundraising drive
2013 Health Programme
In 2013, thanks primarily to a grant from the British Humane Association, we have been able to begin a focused health programme.The Health Post has been completely upgraded, re-decorated and refurbished. Appropriate drug storage facilities have been provided, also many essential items of medical equipment that were urgently required for assisting attending patients.
At the same time 4 important ‘clean water’ facilities have been completed across the village and an extensive joint-funded programme has been set in progress to build toilets for the 200 families currently without facilities of any kind.
In May we arranged a two-day Health Camp for Aruchour and neighbouring villages. Specialist eye and ear doctors were available, also more general physicians – all offering consultation and treatment to any villagers who attended. This was a remarkable opportunity for many families and the camp was fully occupied during the whole two days.
Currently we are exploring and planning stage two of our health programme.