Outreach clinics on the roof of the world

The last three days we spent a lot on potholed Nepalese mountain roads, as we visited a total of three different outreach clinics. We started on Saturday morning at Dolakha Hospital in the Gaurishankar region. This clinic is fairly new and large, super equipped and really clean. Our inventory was completed after a good two hours and after we had asked some general questions regarding the clinic’s operation, such as oxygen treatment or waste management, we went to the temple for the evening prayer session. After a short walk through Dolakha “Downtown” we had dinner and ate our Dhal Baat typical Nepalese with our hands.

Sunday started early for us. At 5:30 am we left the accommodation and started with the sunrise into the mountains. First we drove for two hours on an off-road road to the mountain village Kalinchowk. After this adventurous drive and an approx. 1-hour hike to the Kali temple, a breathtaking mountain panorama opened up to us.

In the afternoon, our outreach tour continued through a beautiful valley with rice terraces, banana trees and rural huts until we reached Kirnetar Hospital. This very small health center is only very sparsely equipped, mostly with very old equipment and unfortunately does not have the best hygiene standards. After discussing some of the problems with the management there, we are informed that we will not go back to Dhulikhel that day due to the already advanced time of day. So we are spontaneously accommodated in the guest rooms and get a private guided tour through the neighboring hydroelectric power plant. Tired and exhausted from the day we are looking forward to dinner and a bed. The former takes for some reason two hours until it is ready and we have to confirm 10 times that we really want to eat veggies, which has always been super easy so far. The bed then turns out to be a mattress made of coconut fibers and is about as comfortable as it sounds – it’s rock hard. But what the heck, eyes closed and through, somehow that’s also the exciting thing about such a trip.

On Monday we went back to Dhulikhel. On the way we took the very remote Dumja clinic, which is accessible by a 5km long off-road road. From the outside a quite large and new building, the medical care takes place only on one floor and there are also practically no patients. We then learn that this center is mainly used for health camps, where then, for example, for 2-3 days a dentist team comes and treat all people from the surrounding villages.

Despite an almost infinite number of tea, breakfast or dhal baat breaks, we then reach the Dhulikhel Hospital again around noon. It was really a great insight into the more rural Nepal.

What else we learned on this short trip: Nepalis love to show you their country and their culture, which is really cool. They eat an incredible amount, but are happy when you do the same and eat with your hands. And they really like to take a break. 😅


Text: Katharina Mai