New project in Chin State, Myanmar
Having worked with the charity Health and Hope at their clinic in the remote town of Lailenpi during February 2019, Dr Nick journeyed there again in March 2020 to see for himself the progress being made in developing a primary care service for the area. He was kept very busy in the clinic but also managed to find time to do some teaching sessions with the nursing staff and the Area Health Co-ordinators who supervise the village community health workers throughout the State.
During his visit Dr Nick forged links with a new charity called The Waymaker Trust who, like Health and Hope, also work to alleviate poverty and improve living conditions amongst the Mara community. Covid permitting Guernsey Aid is hoping to support a project to renovate and re-equip the run-down school building in the Mara village of Lung Cawi close to the border with India.
The Lake Clinic (TLC) in Cambodia
In January 2020 Dr Nick spent the month working with TLC out on the Tonle Sap Lake and handed over sufficient funds from Guernsey to cover the cost of buying and fitting 10 biosand water filters. During 2021 pupils at Blanchelande College are hoping to raise funds for several more. Whilst in the floating village of Stung Chrouv Dr Nick helped the TLC outreach nurses install a filter at the floating home of a large extended family where it will provide an ongoing supply of clean water not just for them but also for other families nearby.
The heavy bags of gravel and sand that are needed to provide the filtration have to be transported across the lake on the clinic boat alongside the medical equipment and before they can be used they have to be repeatedly and painstakingly rinsed clean. The main beneficiaries of the filters are the village children for whom a reduction in worms and water-borne diseases like typhoid and gastroenteritis greatly improves their nutritional status and growth rate.
The Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh
In February 2020 after visiting the Rohingya refugee camp Dr Nick and Claudine launched an appeal for funds to help the emergency health post in Camp 15 where they had spent time with the dedicated team of local doctors and nurses. The focus within the camp is as much on disease prevention as it is on treatment especially for infections like cholera, measles and now Covid. At Easter the money raised was sent directly to the camp to purchase vital medical supplies and PPE.
Bani Bilas School in Kathmandu, Nepal
Following the devastating earthquake in Nepal in 2015, the people of Guernsey offered both financial and practical assistance to Bani Bilas School on the outskirts of Kathmandu which had been almost completely destroyed. Funds from the Overseas Aid Commission and from the Guernsey branch of Action Aid covered the re-building costs and a working party travelled out to Nepal to help dig the new foundations.
Dr Nick and Claudine visited the school in November 2019 when it had re-opened and they were very impressed with the enthusiastic attitude of the staff and the pupils particularly in relation to gender equality issues and towards study and learning in general. In conjunction with Guernsey Aid the school has been adopted by Blanchelande College here in Guernsey as one of the projects they will be supporting during 2021 and the sixth form at Blanchelande are hoping to establish closer links with their counterparts in Nepal in the years ahead.