Mountain Heart Nepal was founded by an enthusiastic group of young medical doctors under the leadership of Dr. Aban Gautam. Our team has a common passion to help Nepal develop a higher standard of healthcare and education.
The earthquake of 2015 led to a number of young medical professionals to unite under the banner of Mountain Heart Nepal. Directly following the natural disaster, they organized medical camps in numerous highly affected districts throughout the country, with the aim of providing necessary medical care to those injured and affected by the earthquake. It goes without saying that the resolve to provide disaster relief has not diminished and the people involved within the organization are ready to mobilize at a moment’s notice should such an event unfold.
The initial purpose was disaster relief and treating those who suffered injuries during the tragic natural disaster, but soon the organization expanded and focused its attention on providing free medical care to people in remote, inaccessible, and austere environments throughout the country.
Since its inception, MHN has conducted 32 medical camps and more than 19,000 people have benefitted from the services provided. Aside from bringing doctors and other medical professionals to often overlooked districts for check-ups, treatment, and prescription refills, MHN has also provided expressive therapy, psychosocial support, donations of various goods, and even basic nutrition education during those expeditions.
According to the United Nations Nepal is one of the poorest and least developed nations in Asia. The quality of both health and education in Nepal is far below international standards. Hospitals and Health services are considered luxuries for the majority of Nepalese people. The prevalence of disease is higher in Nepal than in any other South Asian country. People are dying from diseases that have been practically eradicated in the western world like, leprosy and even tuberculosis.
Much of rural Nepal is comprised of hilly and mountainous regions. The rugged terrain and the lack of proper infrastructure make much of the country inaccessible, limiting the availability of basic health care and education. In many villages, the only mode of transportation is by foot. This results in a delay of treatment, which can be detrimental to patients in need of immediate medical attention. Most of Nepal’s healthcare and education facilities are concentrated in urban areas and those health and education projects located in rural areas often lack adequate funding and skilled manpower. This situation has worsened after 2015’s devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal.
The state of Nepal’s education system is not much better with only 57% of the entire population being considered literate. Although the government of Nepal has declared compulsory free education at the primary level, 60% of children are still unable to go to school. From our research we found that even though there is an 80% increase in school registration from the age group of 6-10. More than 70% will eventually dropout of school. This is due to a variety of factors from the parents’ ignorance and illiteracy, child marriage, and poverty. In many cases children have to work to support their families while young struggle to make a living for themselves in a traditionally conservative society. In order to fight this problem, we have to start at the bottom level and directly educate children and adults on the benefits of education, top-down policy development has proven to be ineffective. It is up to us and those like us to spread the message from the grassroots level.
Though Mountain Heart Nepal is a small organization, we have been working tirelessly to improve the quality of life for the people of Nepal. In our first year Mountain Heart Nepal has run more than 24 free medical health camps in the rural areas, distributed everything from books to backpacks to the underprivileged and has provided psychological counseling and healing to those who have been traumatized after the quake.