Journey to the End of the Earth

Journey to the End of the Earth
I realized quickly, after just having traveled to various villages in rural India, that distance is relative. Hailing from a city like San Francisco, going even a few hours outside of town is far – but twelve hours outside of a major city? I half expected to run into another country. This remote place in mention is Achham, a tiny hillside region in Far West Nepal. Sitting like a giant amongst the lush green terraced mountains of Achham, is a hospital named Bayalpata. Once an abandoned building, it has been revived by the committed NGO Nyaya Health. I had the opportunity to visit this hospital last month and see the vision of Nyaya Health’s staff—free quality medical services and health equity for the residents of one of the poorest districts in Nepal. The site of Nyaya Health's work, Bayalpata Hospital. Achham’s population is about 250,000, but unfortunately its socioeconomic statistics are nothing to boast about. Bayalpata Hospital’s main cases are deliveries, in a region where the maternal mortality rate is 800 per 100,000.  By comparison, the U.S. mortality rate is 8 per 100,000.  Looking further into Nyaya Health’s collected baseline surveys reveals an even more troubling picture: ** The average daily per capita income is $0.50. ** 92-95% of homes don’t have electricity. ** The average level of education is 1-1.5 years of schooling. ** 60% of children are chronically malnourished. ** 50% of households have a member working seasonally in India.  Not coincidental to these circumstances, this district is believed to have one of the highest rates of HIV and labor migration. ** 55% don’t have access to safe drinking water, two and a half times the national average. Despite these heartbreaking statistics, inspiration can be found in the phenomenal work that Nyaya Health is doing in this region.  An entirely Nepali medical staff, the hospital is slowly gaining parts to its whole. While we were there, we saw the beginning of a brand new surgery ward; the new toilet received its final touch with a fresh cover of tiles; a mason fitted new window frames for the entire hospital. The busy office of Greg and the administrative staff. The Country Director, Greg, went on with his work approving funding for expanding staff and volunteer quarters –even as 20-30 people went in and out of his office with inquiries. And all this was happening next to the most expansive view of the region –a majestic valley before us, the mountains and the riverbed below appeared to carry a postcard-like quality. It was only the economic reality of this beautiful region that quickly brought us back to attention. About 200 adults and children filtered through the outpatient department that day. The waiting room was packed. Nyaya Health was created in 2005, when they began setting up the organization, doing research and putting together staff. By 2008, Nyaya was up and running, providing medical services to the community.  It was originally started by three medical students from the United States but has been pushed forward by the Nepali staff in Achham with a support team in Boston.  One can imagine how rapidly things have progressed here, given the location: from Kathmandu, Achham is a two hour plane ride and ten hour jeep ride up and down a one lane largely unpaved mountain road.  From the plane, we saw the Himalayas clear and close; while from the jeep we experienced them firsthand, not knowing when the jeep might slip on a bend. From the terraced hillsides to the tall grass fields a perfect blend of green and yellow, I have never seen a landscape so breathtaking. The terraced mountainside, characteristic of rural Nepal and the view from Bayalpata Hospital. Nyaya has their work cut out for them though, as they recently lost 3 key members of their staff who demanded higher pay raises. Without a medical director, it is really hard to run a hospital. But somehow, the staff has persevered, tackling issues like a broken X-ray machine through an 8 hour Skype call with customer service in Spain; or dealing with prior accusations of illegal supply purchases, quelled through transparency of expenses. Everything related to Nyaya Health is open source. From staff photos to budgetary allocations to board meeting minutes; it is all out there for donors and visitors to see. And in the non-profit world, this is a gift when oftentimes decisions are made based on political, regional, and economic variability. If I had not seen it with my own eyes, and returned back to tell the tale, I would have thought my visit took me to the end of the earth. But the journey that we made was more than physical – if so many corners of the world could galvanize solutions like this to address inequity, it gives me hope that we can we rally together and carry them through. This article is printed here with permission. Shwetha Sridharan is passionate about the development sector. She previously worked at Arghyam, an NGO that funds water and sanitation projects across rural India. For more information on Nyaya Health and their work and vision of health care for the poor, or on twitter @nyayahealth.

Author: Shwetha Sridharan # HoviRibe92
 54%  ( 3 people voted )


What is tripcode?
A tripcode is a hashed password, by which you can be identified by others. This does not require registration and you will be still anonymous. Password is not stored on the server.
What is this?
Anti-spam protection against robots. Please write this two numbers in decimal form.
si   seven
(write in decimal)

By submitting this form, I Agree to the Terms and Conditions. Click here for whole text of Service Agreement.

Optional URL of video, picture or google map:

Best of week
Most Popular

15 New Year’s Resolutions Every Person Should Actually Make

15 New Year’s Resolutions Every Person Should Actually Make
Making New Year’s resolutions and staying committed to them can be a challenging thing for a lot of people. And even though I think it’s important to have a vision, a clear direction or goal ...
Why True Love Is Eternal
9 Ways to Feng Shui Your Office Desk for Wealth and Success
9 Ways to Feng Shui Your Office Desk for Wealth and Success

4 Things You Can Learn from Visiting an Ashram

4 Things You Can Learn from Visiting an Ashram
It is coming up on the 1st anniversary since my first visit to an ashram. I took a trip by myself in January of 2011 not knowing what to expect to this place called Yogaville. The drive was about 4 ...
Why Positive Thinking Won’t Guarantee You Positive Results
Have You Seen the Wizard?
The Poorest & Most Generous President in the World

The Urgency of Smiling

The Urgency of Smiling
A dear friend recently shared a homemade smile card experience with me: Ever since yesterday, I've had this urge to pay forward someone's coffee. But I didn't have a smile card.
Developing: Drug that Sends Cancer Cells to Sleep to Stop Them Spreading
Your Health Is Bigger Than Your Body
Don't Worry Be Healthy

The Elephant Whisperer

The Elephant Whisperer
Lawrence Anthony, the acclaimed South African conservationist passed away this March. His funeral turned out to be as extraordinary as his life. Two herds of wild elephants traveling single file ...
The City That Ended Hunger
Ancient Wisdom From the Second Most Translated Book in the World
Change is Coming

New Hypersonic Plane Could Fly Between New York and Tokyo in 90 MINUTES

New Hypersonic Plane Could Fly Between New York and Tokyo in 90 MINUTES
XCOR Aerospace claims its Lynx spacecraft can travel at a speed of more than 2, 500 mph and dozens of miles above the earth before safely landing at an airport. It would be the fastest commercial ...
The Secret Powers of Time
The Odd Truth About Other People's Problems
12 Scientifically Proven Steps to Happiness

Finding A Job..when You Least Expect It!

Finding A Job..when You Least Expect It!
So I haven't held a job since April of 2011 due to multiple health issues. I currently draw disability but am having trouble finding money at the end of the month so I decided I would look for a ...
What If Money Were Not an Issue?
Is Time Really Money?
After 25 Years of Trying, Two Friends Win $14 million Jackpot

The Fine Balancing Art of Yin and Yang

The Fine Balancing Art of Yin and Yang
In the past 2 years I have experienced the delights of visiting Thailand and being bowled over by their inherent sense of beauty and creativity to their humble way of life and their desire to please...
The Action of Light
A Quick Guide To The Art of Listening
An Incredible Graduation Gift from Dad

Drew Brees is Donating $1MILLION for Superstorm Sandy Relief

Drew Brees is Donating $1MILLION for Superstorm Sandy Relief
The New Orleans Saints quarterback told CBS' 'Person to Person' in an interview to air on Friday that the donation will come through the Dream Foundation he runs with his wife, Brittany. Brees says ...
High School Football Team Lends Special-Needs Girl Tactical Defense
18 Holes Of Happiness
Gold Medal Gives Ugandans New Hope

Grandmother Power: A Global Phenomenon

Grandmother Power: A Global Phenomenon
Today’s grandmothers are different from mine. My grandmother lived a mile away. I played under her bushes where spring violets grew.
The Millionaire Janitor
What Motivates Philanthropists?
6-Year-Old Nico: Halloween's Real Life Hero

11 Must-Read Books for Young Leaders

11 Must-Read Books for Young Leaders
Recently, I wrote that leaders should be readers. Reading has a host of benefits for those who wish to occupy positions of leadership and develop into more relaxed, empathetic, and well rounded ...
10 Lessons to Learn from Storm Sandy and Natural Disasters
The Beauty of Questions
Finding Humility through Wisdom

One Valuable Lesson for All of Us to Learn

One Valuable Lesson for All of Us to Learn
I ask for nothing. In return I give All. There is no earning my Love. No work needed, no effort. ~Ki Longfellow, Flow Down Like Silver: Hypatia of Alexandria
Rick Van Beek's 12-Year-Old Inspiration
Throw Your Life a Curve
Poet Jane Hirshfield on The Mystery of Existence, by Kim Rosen

Mezoterapia Bratislava Dermaroller Bratislava Mezoterapia v Bratislave Kyselina hyalurónová Omladenie pleti kyselinou hyalurónovou Regenerácia pleti Sonoforéza | Hĺbkové čistenie pleti Bratislava Hĺbkové čistenie pleti v Bratislave Ultrazvukové čistenie pleti Bratislava Čistenie pleti ultrazvukom Bratislava Skin Scrubber Bratislava Kozmetika Bratislava Chemický peeling Bratislava | Chemický peeling aha kyselinami Bratislava chemický peeling ovocnými kyselinami Chemický peeling Bratislava aha chemicky peeling v Bratislave peeling aha kyselinami v Bratislave Kozmetický salón v Bratislave Kozmetika Bratislava Hĺbkové čistenie pleti Bratislava Salón krasy Bratislava | Lomerre - natural, eco, bio, organic handmade cosmetics, serum, cream, lip balm, body scrub, shower oil, bath oil, neroli, coconut, cocoa and more | Hĺbkové čistenie pleti v Bratislave Hĺbkové čistenie pleti Bratislava Kozmetika Bratislava
Version:1.23 2013-07-17 Generated in 0.0454 s