Himalayan Sherpa Clinic
The village of Phakding is situated right in between Lukla and Namche. It is located approximately 7 km away from Lukla and around 8 km before Namche. This village falls under the Chouri Kharka Village Development Committee (VDC) of Solu-Khumbu district, which is also the main gateway to the Everest region. Phakding has a high density of people as this area and route is the main trial to the whole Everest region. Trekkers spend their first night in Phakding as it is a part of their trek and it also helps in the acclimatization process. Phakding consists of sub-villages like TokTok, Jamphute, Nombuwa-Teng, Rimijung, Gumela, Chermading, Ghat, Lhowa, Sengma, Benkar, Monjo, Chumo and Jorsalle. The nearest hospital from here is either Pasang Lhamu Nicki Nicole Hospital in Lukla or Hillary Hospital in Khunde, both which takes a minimum 3 hours of walk to reach. Just to get a basic treatment or medication is difficult in this area.
After examining the harsh conditions and the difficulties in getting a basic treatment in Phakding, Himalayan Sherpa Foundation (HSF) has taken the initiative in establishing a health post with the view of starting a Hospital in the long term. The health post’s objective is to provide basic check-up services as well as to be able to treat certain emergency cases for both the locals and tourists for the region of Phakding. After hearing many stories of difficulties to receive a proper medication in Phakding, the idea of a health post is not only beneficial but it is a must in this region.
The April 25th (2015) earthquake and the frequent aftershocks have left the whole nation devastated. This tragic incident has caused casualties in thousands of numbers. After carefully assessing and examining this disaster, we came to the conclusion that many lives could have been saved had there been proper medical services available. Phakding is one of the several villages where we heard of many tragic stories. Due to the difficulty in getting a basic medical treatment here, many people had suffered badly by the event of the earthquake. After evaluating the types of injuries, we came to the conclusion that most of the injuries were not that severe and were such that could have been cured – if treated on time. This catastrophe has caused a great deal of interest in the development of the nation. This has been a learning curve for everyone, especially the government sector. How will the Government of Nepal utilize the relief funds is yet to see, but we, Himalayan Sherpa Foundation will continue to strive on providing helping hands and trying to make a difference in someone’s life. We all need to learn from this incident and move on.
The Himalayan Sherpa Foundation (HSF) has taken initiative in establishing a health post with the view of starting a hospital in the long run in the region of Phakding. HSF’s main reason behind establishing the health post here in Phakding is due to its convenient location for the surrounding villages and also because of the need for the locals. The locals want and need a hospital here because the nearest hospital for them requires 3 hours of walk. Phakding is a very popular touristic destination and with the establishment of a health post in this region, it can benefit all the locals and tourists while their stay here. Both of the nearest hospitals (Pasang Lhamu Nicki Nicole Hospital in Lukla and Hillary Hospital in Khunde) are 3 hours away from Phakding. Both of these hospitals are operated and run privately. It is surprising to see how little support the government has contributed to the Everest region, especially while considering how much revenue the tourism industry generates for the government. Like Phadking, numerous villages are facing these types of problems. The reason HSF chose Phakding is because we are the locals of this village and of this nation. Himalayan Sherpa Foundation has already acquired a license to open a health post with the name “Himalayan Sherpa Clinic” in Phakding and has also started the process of obtaining the license for the hospital, which is the future project here.
As of August 25th of 2015, we have started operating the Himalayan Sherpa Clinic in Phakding. We have hired a local nurse who looks after the patients at the clinic and another staff that helps the nurse with her work. Our friend from Germany, Mr. Claus Konschak, who was working for an organization entitled “Action Medeor” kindly supported us by providing the first set of medicines. Mr. Claus also generously supported by donating Euro 1,200 to HSF as a salary to the nurse. So far, the clinic has been receiving good numbers of patients and the medicines have been utilized properly. The locals are happy that there is a clinic available near them when needed.
On November 23rd 2015, we successfully inaugurated the Himalayan Sherpa Clinic officially. The inauguration event was observed by the Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation Minister Mr.Bal Bahadur KC. The minister was delighted by this initiative and vowed to continue his support in the future. He emphasized the importance of living a healthy life given the tough climatic conditions in the Himalaya. Mr. PhurbaGyaltsen Sherpa, the founder and chairman of HSF was also in presence of this ceremony. Mr. Sherpa also laid out his plans of establishing a hospital in the long term. Currently, there are few staffs working at the clinic but we are consistently searching for new qualified staffs.
The following pictures display the inauguration program held in Phakding in the presence of the Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation Minister Mr. Bal Bahadur KC and the Chairman of Himalayan Sherpa Foundation Mr. Phurba Gyaltsen Sherpa: