The Health Us Nepal association is an NGO, the aim of which is to improve health conditions in the region of Humla, one of the most isolated and poorest parts of the country.
The association was set up by Marc Boix Bruguera, who was born in the region and was adopted by a couple from Girona when he was six years old. He went on to study medicine at the University of Barcelona and trained as an anaesthesiologist at Arnau de Vilanova Hospital in Lleida. When he was 29 years old, he decided to return to his country of origin to set up this project.
The Humla region is in the extreme north-west of Nepal, in the middle of the Himalayas, at an altitude of more than 2.500 m, surrounded by mountains 4,000, 5,000 and 6,000 m tall. The region has some 60.000 inhabitants and 6.000 people live in the capital, Simikot. The urban infrastructure is minimal and very reliable.
There is no access by road. You can only get there on foot, after walking for several days from Jumla, or by light aircraft from Nepalganj, to the south, weather permitting. This situation makes living conditions there very extreme. One of the worst consequences is that health conditions are very poor from the point of view of public health and medical care.
Marc has been there since August 2017, directing the project to improve the situation. The first action carried out was to open a healthcare centre in Simikot, with a pharmacy alongside, attended by a nurse and a pharmaceutical assistant, both local.
The NGO's pharmacy is not only a place that dispenses medicine; it also plays an essential part in health education and care. That makes it different to the existing pharmacies, which sold medicines as if they were consumer products without any kind of recommendation or monitoring and at abusive prices.
Medical care is currently provided in person by Marc, who works at the centre and regularly travels to nearby villages to treat people with mobility difficulties. They see an average of 30 to 40 people a day. He also provides education in health matters and minimal levels of hygiene, since these are basic aspects for improvement.
Medical care is provided for free, although they charge for medicines at prices that are much lower than usual but that allow them to recoup 60% of the pharmacy's expenses.
The association is maintained with regular contributions from the members, of whom there were 93 as of 1 May 2019, as well as occasional contributions. These contributions make the project possible, covering the cost of facilities, rent, salaries, medicines and Marc's own living needs.
The association plans to improve the care centre's facilities to ensure minimum health standards, provide it with hot water and a reliable electricity supply (with solar panels), and fit it out with suitable furniture. They would also like to have medical diagnostic devices such as blood analysis and X-ray equipment.
You can find more information about the NGO, in several languages, on their website and social networks: Facebook, WordPress, Instagram, Teaming (1 €/month), and YouTube (under Marc's name). Through these channels, you can also find out about ways to collaborate with the project and ask any questions you may have.
The association is registered with the official Catalan Government bodies.