• rural nepal

    Home to eight of the highest mountains in the world including Mt. Everest, Nepal remains one of the poorest countries in the world.
  • Cultural Immersion

    Before we can provide effective medical care we must first learn to understand how our patients live.
  • Building relationships

    Learning to understand each other and truly listen is the first step in building trust and lasting friendships.
  • Primary Care

    Since 2008, Acupuncture Relief Project volunteers have delivered over 300,000 primary care visits in rural Nepal.
  • Patient Education

    By providing simple explanations, we help patients understand their health concerns and make informed choices regarding their care.
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Our Mission

Our unique model provides effective, efficient, primary care in rural Nepal. Read More
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Our Clinics

Since 2008, our clinics have provided over 350,000 primary care visits. Read More
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Our Partners

Influencing government policy and achieving educational goals. Read More
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Volunteer With Us

We need your help. Serve others while learning new skills. Read More
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Our Evidence

Case studies and field research helps us analyze our efficacy. Read More
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VOLUNTEER COMMUNITY CARE CLINICS IN NEPAL

Nepal remains one of the poorest countries in the world and has been plagued with political unrest and military conflict for the past decade. In 2015, a pair of major earthquakes devastated this small and fragile country. 

Since 2008, the Acupuncture Relief Project has provided over 300,000 treatments to patients living in rural villages outside of Kathmandu Nepal. Our efforts include the treatment of patients living without access to modern medical care as well as people suffering from extreme poverty, substance abuse and social disfranchisement.

Common conditions include musculoskeletal pain, digestive pain, hypertension, diabetes, stroke rehabilitation, uterine prolapse, asthma, and recovery from tuberculosis treatment, typhoid fever, and surgery.

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Featured Case Studies

  • Painful Ulcerations of the Throat with Chronic Sinusitis +

    28-year-old male presents with chronic sinusitis, nasal blockage, throat pain and ulcerations for 18 months. The patient also Read More
  • Parkinson’s Disease +

    72-year-old female presents with left hand tremors that extend up the arm and into her neck and jaw. Read More
  • Palliative Care of Parkinson’s Disease +

    62-year-old male was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 8 years ago and has been receiving treatment in this clinic Read More
  • Low Abdomen Pain due to Roundworm and Urinary Infection +

    30-year-old female presents with lower abdominal pain, burning urination and shortness of breath for the last 5 months. Read More
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Compassion Connect : Documentary Series

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    In the aftermath of the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake, this episode explores the challenges of providing basic medical access for people living in rural areas.

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    Episode 1: Rural Primary Care

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    Acupuncture Relief Project tackles complicated medical cases through accurate assessment and the cooperation of both governmental and non-governmental agencies.

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    EPISODE 2: INTEGRATED MEDICINE

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    Cooperation with the local government yields a unique opportunities to establish a new integrated medicine outpost in Bajra Barahi, Makawanpur, Nepal.

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    EPISODE 3: WORKING WITH THE GOVERNMENT

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    Complicated medical cases require extraordinary effort. This episode follows 4-year-old Sushmita in her battle with tuberculosis.

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    EPISODE 4: CASE MANAGEMENT

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    Drug and alcohol abuse is a constant issue in both rural and urban areas of Nepal. Local customs and few treatment facilities prove difficult obstacles.

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    EPISODE 5: SOBER RECOVERY

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    Interpreters help make a critical connection between patients and practitioners. This episode explores the people that make our medicine possible and what it takes to do the job.

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    EPISODE 6: THE INTERPRETERS

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    This episode looks at the people and the process of creating a new generation of Nepali rural health providers.

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    EPISODE 7: FUTURE DOCTORS OF NEPAL

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    In this 2011, documentary, Film-maker Tristan Stoch successfully illustrates many of the complexities of providing primary medical care in a third world environment.

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    COMPASSION CONNECTS: 2012 PILOT EPISODE

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From Our Blog

 


Since I’ve been here, besides treating patients, I’ve been reading some books of Buddhist thought.  One book that speaks to me deeply is called Medicine & Compassion, A Tibetan Lama’s Guidance For Caregivers written by the Venerable Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche and David R. Shlim, M.D. 

One thing from the book that sticks with me is the idea of treating patients with joyous diligence.  The thought is that you gain energy because you enjoy the work.  It is also one of the 6 virtues of a Bodhisattva, having perseverance.


As I’ve been treating patients I’ve noticed some are easier for me to treat than others.  There are many reasons for this.  Some of their cases are very complex and my experience and confidence are lacking, the language barriers and the subtle things that get lost in translation are numerous, and sometimes just the pure energetics between people can be a challenge.  When I run into these walls, I try to bring myself back to the idea of joyous diligence and the action of having perseverance. 

The other day I saw a woman for her second treatment and as I looked at her chart it was very complex and I thought, “What am I possibly going to be able to do to help her?”  The beloved interpreter and I started in, and the patient revealed that she had been bitten by a dog.  I looked away from her chart and up at her and realized that I had dodged a bullet trying to figure out how to treat the things on her chart, but that we were going to head in a totally different direction with her whole new barrage of ammo.  After a few basic questions about the incident we got to the place of making choices about her treatment.  Number one…if the dog was vaccinated we don’t need to send you to the health post but we do need to contact the owners and get the vaccination report to be sure.  Number two…you need to go to the health post for vaccination because we can’t get a vaccination report and the dog owner doesn’t care that his dog bit you.  Number three…don’t ask for a vaccination report for the dog or go to the health post and risk getting very sick.

After tears, worry, and deep concern from all parties involved, I cleaned the wound and told her that I cared for her and I didn’t want her to get sick.  She said she had no money and I assured her that was nothing to worry about and that we would take care of it as long as she agreed to go to the health post for a rabies vaccination.  More tears, no way of paying us back, her husband had passed away a year ago, no money.  I again assured her that the only choice she had was to go to the health post because if she got sick, it would only make matters worse.  She cried and said, “Those dog owners don’t care if I die because I am poor.”  We reminded her again that we cared and that was why she needed to go to the health post.

I was just about to say, “Ok, these are your options and if you don’t want to go you don’t have too.” And she said, “Ok, I’ll go.  You have convinced me that I don’t want to be sick.”

So away we went with her to receive her first of three injections.  After it was all over we got back to our clinic and I treated her to ease her emotions.

At the end of our treatment she thanked us for not letting her get sick and die, and told us that now we too had become her family because we cared for her.

Upon reflection of the situation, I realized that when I let go of my agenda for her care, she also let go and agreed to let us help her.  I have also been struck by the fact that we fly half way around the globe to care for people, but how do we treat our neighbors and people of our own village?  With joyous diligence?

---Amy Schwartz

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