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The Venerable Bardor Tulku Rinpoche, director of The Raktrul Foundation thanks all those who helped make the 2009 mission a success. We present here The Five Year Plan to benefit all the people in the settlements and villages surrounding Raktrul.

An Overview of the 2009 Mission from Kirk Moulton, Project Director of the first Night Into Day project:

In the summer of 2009 a medical/solar team traveled to Raktrul, a small village in Qinghai, Tibet with three objectives:
1) to establish a medical clinic,
2) install solar-powered lighting in the clinic and an orphanage school,
3) to conduct a needs assessment for the community.

Much was accomplished in a short amount of time. We went expecting to set up a sustainable clinic, conduct a community-wide needs assessment, install 800-1,000 watts in solar power and an assurance of support from the surrounding villages for future projects. We accomplished much more than we ever could have hoped for. The Schools Project Team distributed backpacks and school supplies to close to 150 local school children.

90% of Tibetans people treated
received acupuncture treatments. Patients ranged in age from 6 months to 82 years old and included monks, nuns, lamas, nomads, and local village people. Other treatments included vision testing/fitting of prescription glasses and sunglasses,TENS unit treatment, wound care, teachings about diet and hygiene.

The Medical Team dispensed: ASA, Ibuprofen, Traumeel, Tiger Balm, Acidophilus, Pepcid, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Children’s Vitamins, Fish Oil, Antibiotics, Eye Drops and Chinese Herbal Medicines.

The Solar Team installed 2,000 watts of power for $18,000 and was able to light up five facilities instead of the original goal of two. In addition, The Solar Team managed to outfit three more 100 Watt systems, consisting of solar panels, charge controller and battery. These systems will be used in another school building and two other sites to be determined. After this initial mission and having completed our needs analysis, we now have a clear focus on how we can best help the people of this region. 

The Medical/Solar Team is very pleased to tell you that the Chinese government is giving back land nearby with two schoolhouses and a small house that the village has committed to turn into a medical facility . This return of land frees $100,000 the project thought would be needed for a permanent building. This money, once raised, can be used to purchase much needed x-ray, and dental equipment as well as help to provide doctors and treatment to the village.

Our Needs Assessment

Some of the statistics we have to report are shocking. According to WHO, the greatest killer of children from birth to 2 years in the developing world is not HIV/AIDS, but dehydration caused by diarrhea.
The women and infants of some these Tibetan communities are dying during childbirth at shockingly high rates. An estimated 1 in 33 births results in the mother's death, compared with 1 in 2,800 in developed countries. Approximately 1 in every 8 newborns does not survive. In the year 2000, life expectancy at birth was reported as 59.3 years for males and 62.0 years for females.  
Our analysis shows that many health issues can be prevented with some very simple applications.  At the top of the list are: facilities for improved personal hygiene, education about healthy diet, and regular medical check-ups The most common illnesses we saw were:

  • Chronic pain
  • Lung infections
  • Eye disorders
  • Stomach and bowel problems

Average incomes in this area are @ $630 US in urban areas and @ $182 US in rural areas.  In Qinghai Province as a whole, the following educational statistics were reported for the year 2000: 94.2% of school age children were enrolled; 31% of the total Qinghai population had a primary school education; 22% had a junior secondary education; 10% had a senior secondary education; 18% were reported as illiterate. 

Most villagers do not have electrical power of any kind. If the power is available, many just cannot afford it. Many rely on generators or a small solar set up.  Cell phones have become a very cheap and efficient form of communication, even in rural Tibet. However, finding a reliable source for recharging them can be difficult.

There is a unique opportunity to bring direct benefit to Raktrul and the surrounding area.  We have already seen the impact a small team with limited time and resources can make.  Now that we have a clear idea of the needs of the local population and have buy-in from local government and village leaders, we know it is possible to have a sustainable, long-term impact on the welfare of the people of Raktrul.

Our Immediate Plans

Our immediate goals are to assess the state of buildings donated to The Raktrul Foundation by the village of Dortam. and implement the repairs needed to make them a stand-alone medical facility acceptable for seeing patients. The property includes 10 acres of land, two, six-room school buildings and a small duplex within a walled enclosure adjacent to the Raktrul Nunnery We hope to build a modern facility with quarters for a resident doctor as well as living space for visiting medical professionals.

A search is currently underway to recruit a doctor to serve as clinical director.  It is essential to find someone the villagers will accept and trust. We have hired and started training a young woman to become a translator and clinic assistant.  We will continue to identify people like her to become nurses and community health workers.

Our Five Year Goals

2010 : Support the efforts of the Tibetan community in the following ways:

  • Formally acquire from the Chinese government the aforementioned property.
  • Develop an agreement between Raktrul Foundation and the local community to establish the medical facility.
  • Identify the renovation and construction needs of the newly acquired buildings.
  • Create a rehab work plan.
  • Assess the power needs of the clinic.
  • Identify tradesmen and contractors needed to complete the work.
  • Recruit a doctor or nurse who can assemble a team and launch a sustainable clinic.
  • Bring another planning and building team from the USA in the summer to offer additional services.
  • Recruit and train more Community Health Workers.
  • Solicit partners that can contribute technology, additional practitioners, funding and professional expertise.
  • Implement a needs assessment for the nearby schools that focuses on educational materials, equipment and staffing.
  • Create a team of educators and village leaders to help delegate various projects that are initiated in the village schools.

2011 : Have a functional clinic in place in existing setting:

  • Open the facility with a full time doctor and staff. 
  • Bring another planning and building team from the USA in the summer to offer additional services.
  • Upgrade in-house circuits and electrical service to accommodate computers, telecommunications, lab equipment, etc. 
  • Transform one or more of the 12 former classrooms into temporary housing for visiting doctors.
  • Develop a pilot project that supports collaborations with a western clinic. 
  • Establish a team of Community Health Worker that provide healthcare outreach services to outlying villages. 
  • Determine costs, timelines, contractors, permits, the government’s role.

2011:  Break Ground in summer for new Medical Facility:

  • Continue to assess needs of surrounding schools and look to implement and finance projects.

2012: Finish Construction on New Medical Facility:

  • Open the facility with a full team of doctors, nurses, staff and possibly a dentist. 
  • Equip the facility with internet access and other technology.
  • Fine tune the field work of the Community Health Workers team.
  • Equip all area schools with internet access, computers and computer-savvy teachers.
  • Encourage collaborations with clinics and hospitals in the surrounding area.
  • Continue to work with partners locally and internationally to support the schools.

2013 : Maintain and Support our Medical Facility

  • All construction projects are completed. 
  • A full time staff in place caring for a large segment of the local population.
  • Partnerships and technology are in place to support the staff.
  • Community Health Workers will have matured into a team of 40 or more workers.
  • Community Health Workers will have an established outreach network and portable support equipment.
  • An ambulance will have been procured for the facility.
  • Education and training projects for the facility are in place.
  • On-going projects and needs assessments will be in place for the local schools.

2014: Updated, Expand & Improve

  • The medical facility will be fully equipped and employ a seasoned and effective staff.
  • Technology will be continuously upgraded and installed as needed.
  • Community Health Workers will reduce mortality rates improve access to hygiene and provide health education.  

For information on how you can help, please Email: Our Medical Team Leader

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