Karnali is often considered one of Nepal’s most deprived and poor regions, located in a remote area of the country that is difficult to reach. To get there, airfares are incredibly high priced, often being far too expensive for the average citizen, and the roads that lead there are wrought with danger and considered the world’s most perilous.
But Dr Thamma Shahi and his team – consisting of community volunteers, some police officers, and some fellow professionals – were determined to get there. Shahi organized a Free Health Camp in ten different spots in Karnali, and he and his group did what they had to do to arrive at the set locations. It was the first time many of the Karnali locals had ever experienced an event like this, which made it difficult to properly organize it but also meant their excitement levels were through the roof.
Thanks to support from those around them, Shahi’s team successfully reached and treated over 2,500 patients throughout the camp duration. The camp provided insight into the different demographics and denominations of each village that the team visited. Most villages were mainly populated with women, children, and the elderly, with others absent due to work commitments in neighboring India.
Many parts of Karnali still rly heavily upon old practices from shamans, jhakri, and dhaami, and Shahi and his team were glad to have the opportunity to tackle these beliefs and present a more modern take on medicine. According to the team, the best part of the camp was seeing the smiles on their patients after each treatment.