Ms Cynthia Howard (Music teacher), A. Prof Andrea Carr, Dr Stephen Crean (Chiropractor), Bronwyn Crean and Damien Mazur returned from their time in Nepal feeling that volunteering was successful and rewarding.
They delivered Kingborough Lions soccer strips and soccer balls to a school in Ghandruk, in the Annapurna Mountains, to the orphanage at Humanitarian Concern Centre, Budhanilakantar, and to Pancha Kanya Secondary School above Kathmandu. The soccer gear was an instant hit where-ever it was distributed with boys and girls instantly in game mode.
The Music education programs were lead by Ms Cynthia Howard (the Tasmanian Chair of Australian Association of Music Education) and delivered to the Music Arts Society, Kathmandu, and the orphanage, and secondary school. They were assisted by Damien Mazur, A.Prof Andrea Carr, Bronwyn Crean and local Nepalese music teachers.
Whilst these music programs were being provided concurrent Chiropractic clinics were run. The clinics were held in rudimentary surrounds, with simple equipment. The focus was on the diagnosis and treatment for neck pain, headaches, low back pain, and other musculoskeletal and neurologic conditions. Ms Howard said Nepali people were unaware of chiropractic services as there is no formal profession in Nepal. Once word got around about how this new treatment relieved discomfort it was difficult to keep up she said.
Over 100 new patients, with additional follow up treatment were seen, with people waitingup to several hours to be seen, and many travelling hours on foot, on bicycle, or scooter to get to the clinics.
Dr Crean said it was very humbling that these people went to such effort to seek help. He also said that the conditions seen were more complex, and more chronic than is normal in Australia. He was also surprised that most had not had any previous medical assistance for their problems, and how openly they accepted chiropractic treatment. This was made more challenging with the chiropractic assistants and interpreters having difficulties with English-Nepali translation and medical terminology.
The trip was supported by
- Advice and mentoring from Hands on Health Australia
- The Margate knitters gave 30 jumpers, beanies, and soft toys which were gratefully provided to orphans in Budhanilakantar. These orphans’ families were victims of the Nepali earthquakes in 2015.
- Funds raised by the patients of Kingston and Hobart Chiropractic were used to provide guitars, violins to aid in making the education programs sustainable, and purchased hundreds of school books, pens pencils, for the children where there were little to none.
- Blackmans Bay Scout group entrusted the team with a significant funds which was used to supply food for the Humanitarian Concern Centre Orphanage, and to support the work of the Australian Himalayan Trusts work in rebuilding schools in North West Nepal.
- The New Zealand Consul, in Kathmandu
- The Nepalese Ambassador , Canberra
The volunteering experience was intense, humbling, and enriching for all of the team, according to Dr Stephen Crean. He said that all of the team felt a pull to return to Nepal, and that there is so much potential to further assist the kind friendly people there.
There is a demand for Chiropractic care in Nepal however there are considerations for seeking appropriate licensing, and working permits from the Medical Board of Nepal, and the Labour department.
There is also opportunity to involve Chiropractic students to gain experience under supervision.
If people would like to be involved in making a positive contribution in Nepal in the future please contact Cynthia Howard 0438298803 or Dr (Chiro)Stephen Crean 0407876714, firstname.lastname@example.org
*words by Stephen Crean