Trustees first visit to Nepal – Rhian’s thoughts

Hot, sweaty and breathless climbing the mountain on a rocky track to a remote health post I pass Nepalese people carrying heavy loads on their backs. Not with a well designed rucksack and walking boots but with flip flops and unwieldy loads. Long sheets of corrugated iron to provide shelter in their damaged homes, essential supplies from a village a day’s walk away. And not only the young and fit but also children and the elderly. Everyone I passed offered a greeting and a broad smile.

This would also be the route to get essential healthcare. Whether for an exacerbation of COPD, short of breath and coughing, or in pain from a broken limb, an acute abdomen or in labour. Some are carried in chairs on the backs of their devoted partners and family. Their destination would not be a well equipped accident and emergency department but a health post, often with no doctor. If they are lucky they may reach a district hospital with a doctor trained in basic procedures.

Many clearly won’t survive the journey.

By Rhian Edwards