HOW YOU CAN HELP TIBETAN HEALTH DEPARTMENT
Central Tibetan Administration’s Department of Health or Tibetan Voluntary Health Association works to improve the health of Tibetan refuges in India, Nepal and Bhutan. These are the Health Programs and Projects run by Department of Health or Tibetan Voluntary Health Association that urgently need your help.
1) Urgent Need of Support for Tibetan Medicare System (TMS):
The Department started the TMS – a social health program- in the year 2012 exclusively designed to offer secondary and tertiary healthcare services to the exile Tibetan community in India. Likewise, it works in line with achieving the Health Department’s main objective: the ongoing prevention programs.
The TMS program is a self-financing welfare scheme based on the principle of public-private partnership. The families and individuals will be eligible to receive the maximum annual benefit of Rs. 100,000 and Rs. 50,000 respectively on hospitalization costs for an annual contribution of Rs. 3,565 and Rs. 950 respectively. With TMS program, it has been possible for many people to have cured their illness such as gastroenteritis, hypertension, liver disease, cataract, cholecystectomy, upper respiratory infection, diabetes etc. Apparently, from phase 1, phase 2 and phase 3, the combine contributions received from 19960 members is Rs. 15,466,851/- in which the benefits paid to 1017 members is Rs. 22,574,581/- . The Department has incurred deficit of Rs 7,107,730/-, an equivalent to U.S. $ 118,462, up till 15 March 2014. In order to sustain this noble act, we are requesting grants/donations from generous donors to create a financial safety net to back up the TMS program. TMS program not only saves life, but also act as an emergency financial security to a family and society.
2) Adopt Tibetan Health Centers:
The Department of Health is one of the seven Departments of Central Tibetan Administration. Established in December 1981, its objective is to provide a comprehensive (preventive, promotive and curative) health care to the Tibetan population in exile through a network of 7 hospitals and 4 primary health centers and 43 clinics spread across India and Nepal. Ngoenga School, the first ever CTA owned school of Tibetan children with special need, is a home of 50 multiple disabled children from India, Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet. As of now, the Department employs a total workforce of 229 staff members, which includes doctors, executive secretaries, nurses, paramedic and other health personnel.
The operation and management of these hospitals and health centers are directly administrated and funded by the Department of Health, including all recurring and non-recurring expenses ranging from staff salaries to health care services and programs. Over the years, the Health Department, being non-profit organization, has been facing severe financial difficulties in continuing its help and support to these health centers. Therefore, the Health Department is requesting individuals, corporate and associations to extend their help in the following ways:
- Donations to run and manage the health centers,
- Corpus Fund to sustain the Health Department and its units,
- Adopt one of the Hospitals, Primary Health Centers, Clinics or Ngoenga school
3) Hepatitis B awareness, Testing, Vaccination and Treatment Project:
The Department and John Hopkins School of Public Health jointly conducted a cross sectional study among a sample of 3000 people in Bylakuppe Tibetan settlement, South India in 2013 to estimate the prevalence of Hepatitis B. As per the preliminary findings of this study, the overall prevalence was found to be higher than 7% which is WHO’s high endemic categorization value. In our community, Liver cancer is most common along with Stomach and esophageal cancer, which is due to chronic Hep. B infection and Tibetan people eventually suffer and die from liver cancer. Majority of the Tibetans are unable to afford quality medications for clinical management of Hepatitis B because of huge cost of treatment. Such scenarios not only lead to high incidence of liver cancer in future but also cause rapid spread of current infection within the entire community. Therefore, the Department has been providing free Hepatitis B vaccination to all children under 5 years old since 2002.
This project aims to reduce the incidence of Hepatitis B in the Tibetan community in India through Awareness, Screening, Vaccination and Treatment against /for Hepatitis B among of Tibetan children between the age group of 6-19 years, studying in all Tibetan schools in India and Nepal.
4) Construction of staff quarters for medical doctors and staff members at Kollegal, Miao, Hunsur:
The present staff quarters were constructed 35 years ago in 1974 and currently in a very poor condition. So far numerous minor repairs and maintenance work has done to the staff quarter to create better living conditions for the staff members, but no significant development was brought to the building. The staff members and their families are still struggling with agonizing conditions such as leakages, wall cracks, moldy and broken windows and doors, dampness from ceiling and ground. The roof of the building has broken and cracked from many side. During monsoon season, leakages are a common problem, and it creates an unhygienic and difficult living condition for the residents. The staff members residing in the building confronted various life threatening incidents such as poisonous snakes entering into their rooms through the wall cracks. Likewise, the material that made up the roof-, asbestos, is said to be hazardous to human health with its carcinogenic effects. To boosts the work spirit of the staff members, it is necessary to ensure safety and comfortable staff quarters.
5) Eye Camps in Tibetan Settlements in India and Nepal:
The CTA demographic survey report 2009 reported 1853 cases of vision disability in the Tibetan population in exile. Age related vision problems, Vitamin-A deficiency during childhood, farmers over exposure to sun & dust and sweater sellers over exposure to sun and dust sitting on the footpath are believed to be common reasons for the vision impairment in the exile Tibetan community. In order to prevent avoidable blindness and to reach out to those who cannot reach us; the Health Department, with the kind help of donors, has been striving hard to organize free eye care services in all the Tibetan settlements in India and Nepal. The activities of the Eye Camp are as follows:
- Free screening & consultation by ophthalmologist.
- Detection of refractory errors in the eye.
- Cataract Surgery and other surgeries such as Pterygium, Dekrocyctitis, glucoma etc.
- Free medicines and Ocular Lenses to the patient.
- Free food, medicines, accommodation and transportation for the patients.
6) Cervical Cancer Awareness, Screening and Vaccination Project:
Cervical Cancer is the second most common cancer in women with around 500,000 new cases and 25,000 deaths each year out of which around 80% of cases occur in low income countries. (WHO statistics) A survey conducted on Tibetan women’s status by Social and Resource Development (SARD) desk of Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) in 2012 reported that Urinary tract infection, Cervical and breast cancer are among the common diseases (other than Hypertension and gastritis) affecting Tibetan women, with lack of accessibility to health services, lack of knowledge, and poverty as among the causes cited for these rising problems affecting their health.
The good news is that, it is preventable and also, the easiest female cancer, preventable through screening. Till date, we have been able to carry out cervical screening and HPV vaccination program in Miao and Hunsur Tibetan settlement successfully and we have plans to cover other Tibetan settlements under similar programs, especially in larger settlements like Ladakh, Mundgod, Dekyiling etc where large number of Tibetan women continue to resides and many young women from these region who are vulnerable to the HPV infections can thus protect themselves from the disease by getting HPV vaccinations which is unfortunately too expensive for many of them to afford. This program can not only reduce mortality and morbidity related to cervical cancer, but can also improve overall health status of women who plays an equal and important role in changing a society.
7) Urgent need of Ambulance at Tuting Health Centers:
The public transport facilities are extremely poor in many Tibetan settlements in India and Nepal. The patients often face obstacles to access timely medical treatment from the distant hospitals. However, the health department is striving hard to facilitate ambulance services that provide medical stand-by 24 hours a day in all the Tibetan settlements especially in remote locations. The main objective of this project is to ensure that patients get a proper medical attention in the occurrence of a medical emergency at Tuting settlement in northeast India.
8) Renovation of DTR Hospital Mundgod, & Clinics at Ladakh Jangthang & Tuting:
The present hospital and clinics were built four decades ago and in a dilapidated state. During monsoon season, the water leakage from the roof top results in moisture and dampness at top floor, causing an unhygienic environment. One can witness the buildings having numerous cracks causing threat to the patients and staff members. Most of the doors and windows are in bad condition, and in urgent need of replacement. The lack of proper facilities leads to unhygienic condition. Therefore, it is very urgent to renovate the hospital buildings and clinics to create a patient-friendly environment; where patients and employees enjoy comfort and safety. Our main objective is to facilitate family-centered care to patients, and to emphasize on human resource development for better employee efficiency.
List of Health Programs and Projects of Department of Health or Tibetan Voluntary Health Association on which you can help.
1. Health Information System
2. Water and Sanitation Program
3. Health Education Program
4. Health Resource Development Program
5. Tibetan Medicare System
6. Mother and Child Health Program
7. TB and MDR TB Prevention and Control Program
8. Integration of Tibetan Sowa Rigpa Medicine and Western Medicine Program
9. Ngoenga School for Tibetan Children with Special Needs
10. Health and Medical Training Program
11. Hepatitis B Prevention and Control Program
12. HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care Program
13. Substance Abuse Prevention and Rehabilitation Program
14. Oral Health and Hygiene Program
15. Eye health program including Cataract screening and Surgery
16. Medicare and Welfare of Tibetan Torture Survivors Program (TTSP)
17. Mental Health Program
18. Care of Tibetan People with Disability
19. Telemedicine Clinic Pilot Project
20. Cancer and Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Program
21. Essential Drugs and Ambulance Fund
22. Emergency Medical Fund for people below poverty line in India, Nepal and Bhutan
23. Adopt Tibetan Health centers project
24. School Health Program
25. Women’s Health Program
26. Malaria Prevention and Control Program
27. Corpus Fund
28. General Donation Fund
29. Installation of fully equipped Dental chair and accessories at remote Tibetan health centers
30. Set up of fully equipped Eye Clinic at Tibetan health centers at Mundgod, Hunsur, Miao, and Odisha
31. Set up of X-ray room and X-ray machine at remote Tibetan health centers at Miao,
Bhandara and Ladakh
Please make donation by cheque/bank draft/IMO payable to Tibetan Voluntary Health Association towards any of the Projects above.