The Health Clinic
The Charity maintains a permanent clinic at its main building in McLeod Ganj. The treatment is available free of charge. Only herbal medicines are offered as treatment. It caters mainly to Tibetan elders in the area who are not fit enough to travel down to the Delek Hospital or cannot afford the medical costs. Cases needing specific medical expertise are referred to registered doctors in the area. There is lots of population of elderly monks and nuns in the town who are without basic amenities. They are provided basic sanitation and medical facilities at the main building of Tibet Charity. The health clinic also gives financial assistance whenever possible to the poor and needy to undergo medical treatment.
Home Nurses support old people in their homes; they are, however, more like carers than nurses. The old people are often single or living alone without family and have no one to care for them. They are living in extreme poverty. The home nurses do everything for them. They clean, wash, go shopping, take them to the hospital, take them out for a walk, make sure they take their medication and cook for them, if needed. In the course of their work, the nurses’ often come across other old people who also need help. Currently, they are helping 27 families, out of which 10 need help everyday. These 10 households have been divided between 4 nurses. Home nurses are committed to provide the best quality help they can, which is why they are always learning new skills. In December 2008 they completed an 8 week training in basic counselling skills, conducted by Carol McKee, a retired counsellor from Canada.
Workshops and seminars are conducted on health related topics such as First Aid, HIV-AIDS, women and children’s health and to spread awareness about rabies at local institutions and monasteries. School health workers are given basic health training in applying dressings, treating wounds, medical hygiene, upgrading clinical equipment, and other health issues.
Schools whose existing medical clinics or Health Centres need upgrading are given new equipment. Tibet Charity also provides funds for ongoing prophylactic programs. The Charity has rented and equipped two buildings in Chandigarh where sick people can stay for a nominal fee (those who cannot afford to pay, stay there free of charge) until they recuperate. One building is run by the Sangye Menlha Trust, which is managed by five volunteer monks and nuns who take care of the administration as well as the sick people. The other building is run by Tsering Dolkar. Amongst Tibetans, she is fondly referred to as the Tibetan Mother Teresa.