On behalf of myself and our Board of Directors, I thank you for your interest in this project. We feel that we are providing extremely effective and cost efficient care in Nepal and facilitating an excellent training experience for our volunteer practitioners. In the interests of full transparency with our community of support I offer this accounting of our 2010 operations.
2010 was a pivotal year for Acupuncture Relief Project. We had thirteen volunteers serve at the Vajra Varahi clinic in Nepal who provided over 9,000 acupuncture treatments and medical consultations. These volunteers worked six days a week and accomplished a total of 395 treatment days of service. Their efforts produced notable successes in treating paralysis/stroke, chronic pain, gastrointestinal disorders, and breathing difficulties such as asthma and emphysema.
In 2010 we introduced the Third World Medicine Immersion Program, which is a continuing education program designed to improve practitioners’ diagnostic skills and to equip them to safely perform in rural third world environments. Upon completion of the course, practitioners present a case study for peer review. These case studies help us analyze the efficacy of our clinic efforts and contribute to a body of evidence that supports our overall project model. For their participation in this course, volunteer practitioners receive 40 Professional Development Activity (PDA) credits from the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).
In partnership with the Vajra Varahi Clinic and the Chokgyur Lingpa Foundation, we have expanded our local interpreter staff and training programs. Vajra Varahi now has five trained interpreters who are rapidly expanding their understanding of acupuncture, medicinal herbs, and holistic medicine. This training improves their ability to convey complex ideas, which helps facilitate a critical therapeutic connection between our practitioners and the local people.
Acupuncture Relief Project has also undertaken several infrastructure projects at the Vajra Varahi clinic to improve the quality of our service there. Some of these include the installation of a solar water heater, wireless Internet services, and mattresses in the living quarters. We have purchased two electro-stimulator machines and have expanded both our herbal dispensary and medical library.
To further our sustainability goals in Nepal, our biggest accomplishment of 2010 was to begin funding an 18-month scholarship for a local Nepali to be trained in acupuncture. This scholarship covers tuition at the Oriental Training and Treatment Center in Kathmandu and the basic living expenses of our award recipient while attending school. Having a trained practitioner on our team in Nepal will help us gain year-round coverage at the Vajra Varahi clinic, and is a big step toward providing sustainable care in this region. This scholarship will be fully funded and awarded in early 2011.
President, Acupuncture Relief Project