Unlike in most Western nations, in rural ethnically Tibetan areas the homeless and the poorest of the poor have virtually none of the safety nets and basic services that we often take for granted. No homeless shelters, no emergency rooms to walk into in a time of crisis, no food kitchens or outreach programs. There are few “free care” programs to meet the needs of indigent persons in Golok State. The Qinghai Geysar Foundation has already begun crisis treatment by supporting medical interventions that will make a life saving difference. Our funds are limited but our hearts and energy are boundless.
We will make a critical difference in the lives of those who do not qualify or cannot afford local services. With priority given to the homeless with medical needs and maternity and infant care, we have already begun serving the community. Due to severe cold weather, unclean sanitary conditions and extreme poverty, untreated medical conditions are common. Qinghai Gesar plans to provide health education with an emphasis on prevention.
Besides direct services through local clinics and hospitals, we will increase our role within the community by providing an introduction for young people to the health care system in order to improve their willingness to use existing services. Such basic knowledge as proper diet, exercise, and an introduction into traditional and allopathic medicine will be integrated into our program. Design and development of an expanded demonstration project will be our first step.
It is well documented that there are fewer available services in rural areas for the indigenous population. Currently, access for the “common” person is strictly limited to those in need due to a medical crisis or multiple diagnoses. It should be noted that entrée into existing health services is most accessible to those able to pay on a fee for service basis. This leaves the majority of poor Tibetan families without needed medical care.
Critical Care Update
As part of our ongoing effort to support emergency care needs in Tibet, the BVF has helped in the effort to provide funding for a 16 year old nomadic girl who was seriously burnt when a fuel can exploded while she was cooking dinner causing extensive 3rd degree burns. Located during a routine visit to the hospital in Dawu, our mother foundation decided to do what it could to help relocate the girl to a burn unit at the better equipped Military Hospital in Xining. We helped raise the funds for a series of skin grafts while Hungkar Rinpoche helped lead many people in providing moral support and payment of all medical fees. Now, back home in her village and nearly healed form this horrendous ordeal, we will help pay for her education and upkeep at our technical school in Golog. This is one example chosen from many of the targeted critical care that we have supported throughout the last few years.