The true nomads and the remote healthcare

Lately I thought I saw the most of unusual hospitals. Then a good friend and digital healthcare strategist told me about a special clinic. A hospital without a building? It reminded me about my project work at INSEAD Fontainebleau within the programme Innovate Health for Tomorrow – remote healthcare in the mountains of Switzerland. A project I showed some influencers in my country but was rejected with some smiles as it was about a medical group wandering through the mountains pausing within a grid of installed examination rooms now and then. Primary healthcare “against” the disappearing doctor’s offices.

Back to that hint. I was more than impressed about this clinic right from start.
The Nomads Clinic of Nepal.Nepal_HumlaLimi2012_Mitsue0625-655x392
A clinic wandering through Nepal. Every year since the eighties. They started with one to three clinicians. Delivering basic healthcare to remote areas. A one of a kind pilgrimage.

Then I was reading that fascinating article by the New Yorker Magazine of December 2015, from Rebecca Solnit about these “Medical Mountaineers”. The story of Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, a record-breaking climber from Nepal, joined the Nomads Clinic in 2013.
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Lets fast-foward to the 2015 journey in the Himalayas.
Funded by Upaya Zen Center (Santa Fe, New Mexico) and the Nomads Clinic.
Transport: a month’s worth of medical equipment (like asthma inhalers, deworming pills, vitamins, analgesics, antibiotics), supplies (like solar lights, toothbrushes, sunglasses, and reading glasses, to be given away), food and tents – about 6 riding horses and 50 pack mules.
Journey: well over 100 miles, crossing passes of 16,000 feet.
No: automobiles, or serviceable roads, modern stores, hotels, electricity or running water.
Stops: a few nights in a single camp.

Kat-Bogacz1-300x199 roshi-with-nuns-300x225
Staff: 30, including 15 medical clinicians (from Brazil, Canada and all over the US like Alaska)
Specials: about 700 eye exams, de-wormed over 5000 children in one year…

The 13 minutes movie about the 2015 Nomads Clinic here.
An interview at Upaya’s Nomads Clinic in Saldang, Dolpo, Nepal.

Help this clinic to continue. DONATE here.

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Pure Engagement. Disruptive healthcare isn’t always connected to technology. Disruption is also comming from the bottom of the heart. Where the idea is so strong even the most challenging passes cannot stop these healthcare professionals and helpers und supporters from delivering human greatness. Remote, rural whatever you call it – the Nomads Clinic is another breathtaking example of the sheer limitless power of a clinic, a hospital, a healthcare project.

My best wishes for the 2016 planning and beyond. Wow.
Maurice Codourey

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