The Himalayan Dental Project – 2012

#1 von carlos , 16.12.2012 20:43

A great deal accomplished, a new venue completed

2012 started off on a very productive level when Dr Scott Dyer and Dr Greg Williams travelled from the USA to Ladakh with a massive team of 35 and worked for 10 days to treat as many Lamdon School students and locals as possible. At the conclusion of their heroic efforts, over 1,500 patients were treated for a wide range of dental problems, thousands of toothbrushes were distributed and timeless friendships were forged.

Dr Dyer, Dr Williams and the “Wide Open Humanitarian” Team

Dr Steve Rogers, Dr David Cauble & Dr Michael Blindheim

In July, three distinguished dentists and oral sugions for Oregon came to Ladakh and worked with a support team of family members and local assistents to treat hundreds of locals for more complex conditions. A great deal was made possible by the splendid Nomad portable X-ray unit which was loaned to the project by Aribex, Inc. in Utah. By being able to secure high resolution x-ray images instantaneously, Dr Cauble and Dr Rogers were able to perform countless root canals and other tooth saving procedures. It is now a very high priority of The Himalayan Dental Project to secure one of these portable NOMAD X-ray units in order to make this level of sophisticated treatment procedures possible full time.

Dr Trevor Barnes and his UK / New Zealand Team

Dr Trevor Barnes arrived with his team of nine in August, 2012 and immediately undertook the monumental task of screening all 1,800 of the students of Lamdon School in Leh in order to create a working data base for future treatments of the actual patients and also allow us to analyze the information gathered and use it to better plan dental interventions and treatments for the future. After the screening was successfully accomplished, the team set out to treat as many of the hundreds of patients with severe dental conditions as possible. They were spectacularly successful on every level.

Dental team from Dunedin, New Zealand

The final team of the season is from Dunedin, New Zealand. Six dentists will be coming in early December to offer the final access to proper dental care and treatment in Ladakh before the long four month winter when temperatures will stay below -25c

New Zealand dental team (from left to right back row): Katherine Cooper, Sam Thompson, Rebecca Cribbin and (from left to right front row): Alinda Coetzee, Krystel Fernandes, Jacy Lin, Ibtisam Alriyami.

Dedication Day – July 27, 2012
His Holiness The Dalai Lama consecrates the Roy A Kite Jr Memorial Clinic

After two years of work, the Roy A. Kite Jr Memorial dental & vision clinic has been structurally completed. It is fully equipped with four portable dental stations as well as a permanent, motorized dental chair. We hope to secure portable radiology capably very soon with the purchase of a Nomad portable x-ray unit from Aribex, Inc. The vision clinic is also well equipped with all the necessary diagnostic tools and facilities for us to be able to provide free basic vision care to all the people of Ladakh

The upstairs ward is furnished with 12 new, adjustable hospital beds for a full recovery, isolation and treatment facility.

We are all profoundly grateful for the honor of His Holiness The Dalai Lama coming to the site of the new clinic and performing the inauguration and consecration rituals on July 27, 2012. His Holiness provided everyone associated with the project His encouragement and blessing as well as bestowed a Medicine Buddha thanka and signed photographs as a constant reminder and inspiration for all the humanitarian work that will now be possible in the venue.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

also blessed and meditated on the memory of Roy A. Kite Jr

Mrs Pennie Jackson, Lama Palden, His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Bill Kite
The contractor and engineers of the project and Mrs Yangchan Dolma

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RE: The Himalayan Dental Project – 2012

#2 von carlos , 16.12.2012 20:43

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RE: The Himalayan Dental Project – 2012

#3 von carlos , 16.12.2012 20:44

Himalayan Dental/Medical expeditions to Ladakh

Latest Expeditons
Himalayan Vision Project
Himalayan Dental Project

2011 Expedition Report. Nubra Valley Ladakh
Date February 7, 2012

Building upon the progress made on previous medical missions to the remote Nubra Valley of Ladakh, The Himalayan Health Project undertook it’s largest and most ambitious expedition to date in the summer of 2011. A talented and diverse team of 33 dedicated surgeons, ophthalmologists, optometrists, physicians, gynecologists, nurses and a virtual army of local and international volunteers provided excellent quality vision and women’s health care examinations and treatments for over 4,000 patients in little over two weeks time.

A brief summary of the work and results:

Himalayan Vision Project

Total number of patients examined: 2,800

Cataract surgeries performed: 38

Prescription eyeglasses measured for and distributed: 275

Reading glasses measured for and distributed: 1,200

Sunglasses distributed: 800

High impact safety glasses distributed: 200

Himalayan Women’s Health Project

Total number of female patients examined: 1,900

Number of pre-cancerous lesions diagnosed and treated: 100

Cases of cervical cancer confirmed: 2

Women sent to New Delhi for advanced surgical treatment: 3

Medications distributed: $20,000
The 2011 Himalayan Health Project Expedition to Nubra Valley, Ladakh

Based on post-expedition analysis from the spectacular results of the 2010 team, it was decided that the 2011 mission statement would be to accentuate wide scale vision and women’s health care for as many people as possible living in the remote Nubra Valley of Ladakh. In particular, the opportunity to have a break-through impact in the long neglected field of women’s health care was at hand. For the entire year following the successful Himalayan Women’s Health project clinic in 2010, the extraordinary efforts of our Ladakh based ally physician Dr Nordan Otzer made a historic impact possible. Doctor Nordan tirelessly traveled by foot to each of the 35 remote villages in Nubra Valley and did presentations for the local women on the basics of their reproductive anatomy as well as advocating regular screening as an imperative intervention in the epidemic rate of cervical cancer among the female population of Ladakh. Because of his efforts and announcements on All India Radio, the women of Nubra Valley enthusiastically awaited the arrival of the international gynecology team that traveled to Disket in August 2011.

Dr Nordan Otzer instructing the local women of Nubra Valley on the basics of women’s health care

The team of 33 dedicated physicians traveled from Singapore and the USA with an enormous amount of diagnostic and treatment equipment, supplies and capability. After arriving in the capital city of Leh, we once again needed to transport the team over the highest motorable road in the world to Nubra Valley.

The road from Leh over the 18,380ft Kardong La pass to Disket, Nubra Valley

On arrival in Disket, the team immediately set up in three primary work locations that provided specialized screening & treatment venues for the vision and women’s health care objectives of the expedition:

The Himalayan Women’s Health Project team of gynecologists set up a private clinic that had separate stations for registration, screening, treatment and education. This was located at a guest house compound that afforded privacy and singular focus.

The Himalayan Vision Project team set up 8 separate clinic stations at the classroom complex of the local Lamdon School. Individual screening stations were set up for registration, basic visual acuity examination, specialized examination for cataracts, glaucoma and other eye maladies, measurement of reading glasses, optometry measurement for prescription eyeglasses and distribution of an enormous amount of eye medication. In addition, patients who required surgery for cataract conditions were identified and prepared for the surgical team

The team of four optical surgeons and a full support nursing staff were stationed out of the local hospital where they operated on patients utilizing the two OTs and patient wards.

The Himalayan Women’s Heath Care Project – 2011

Dr Nordan's heroic efforts to journey to each of the 35 villages of Nubra Valley in order to educate the local women in basic women's health care and also urge them to attend the 2011 Himalayan Women's Health Project camp in August 2011 produced an overwhelming and historic response.

Over 2,000 local women travelled from as far away as 100km to attend the camp and receive what for many of them was the first gynecological examination of their lives.

Patient #1 for the 2011 Mission

Dr Chua Yang (pictured), Dr Swee Chong and Dr Veronica Ventura teamed together with local gynecologists, nurses, health care workers and volunteers to tirelessly endeavor to exam and treat as many of the women who had travelled so far as possible. Often working 12>15 hours a day, the women's health care team provided excellent personalized screening and treatments for almost 2,000 women. These numbers represent almost 50% of the entire female population of Nubra Valley. It was a historic breakthrough and monumental success on every level.


A major component of the overall mission statement was women’s health care education. Dr Swee Chong conducted daily lectures and discussions with hundreds of local women before and after their examinations and treatments. Working together with the local doctors and nurses provided translation capability as well as to encourage the local woman to continue to come in to see their local physicians on a regular basis.

During the 7 day camp almost 2,000 women where screened and received treatments and vital information. Approximately 100 women were diagnosed with pre-cancerous lesions. The skilled surgeons performed many relatively minor excisions and biopsies of these women and the vast majority were considered cured of their potentially serious conditions.

Three women, however, were found to have advanced cases that required major surgical procedures. We made all necessary arrangements for them to be flown down to New Delhi along with their husbands and they were admitted to the excellent facilities at The All India Institute of Medical Sciences. There, they received wonderful care led by the head of the women’s health department at the hospital Dr Neerja Bhatla. Dr Bhatla has committed to being available to extend the full capability of her skills and the AIIMS hospital to provide surgical care for Ladakhi patients who’s conditions require more complex treatments and procedures than are available in Ladakh.

Dr Nordan will continue his efforts to journey to each village on a regular basis to continue the positive momentum established with The Himalayan Women’s Health Project.

Himalayan Vision Project – 2011

As a result of the enormous benefits shared with the people of Nubra Valley in 2010 as well as daily announcements on All India Radio leading up to the arrival of the vision team, hundreds of local people travelled to Disket to be examined and treated by the 25 doctors.

We set up the 2011 Himalayan Vision Project camp at the local Lamdon School which provided 14 separate classrooms that were converted into individual clinics and treatment stations.

Lamdon School-Disket / Site of the 2011 Himalayan Vision Project camp.

The setting of the camp was truly spectacular

The first step was to triage every patient. Each patient had to fill out a form and was given a number so that they could move through the separate examination and treatment stations of the camp and also so we could keep permanent records for follow-up treatments and eyeglass distribution. The system worked very well.

First everyone filled out a patient identity form and were assigned a number that was on the form and also written on their arm
Then everyone was given a basic eye acuity exam. Here Dr Nordan and the head of the optometry team Dr James Chong, train the volunteers who administered the preliminary vision exams.

Patients were then given a more thorough examination for cataract conditions, glaucoma or injuries due to illness or accident.

Depending on the results of those examinations, the patients were given medications, registered for cataract surgery or sent to be measured for reading or prescription eyeglasses.

A vital member of the Himalayan Vision Project team Mrs Pennie Jackson and a local volunteer measure a woman for reading glasses. A very generous supporter in Singapore, Mrs Wong Sioe Hong, donated several thousand pairs of reading glasses which helped the team restore the practical eyesight of many men and women over 40 years of age.
Perhaps the most dramatic and cost effective intervention was that in the field of optometry. Dr James Chong and his team examined and measured hundreds of people during the camp and found many people, young and old, who could greatly benefit from correctly prescribed custom eyeglasses.

Over 275 patients were finally measured for prescription eyeglasses. The order was placed with GK Optical Company in New Delhi and then returned to the patients in Nubra Valley in less than three weeks. As a result of the accurate patient records kept during the camp, each pair of prescription eyeglasses were distributed to their very happy new owners by Dr Nordan before the onset of winter. Many of the patients went from functionally blind to fully restored vision as a result of their new eyeglasses.

New Eyeglasses

With the help of our friends and supporters Mr Jatinder Dhingra and Mr Rajesh Kumar in Delhi, who coordinated the deliveries, the 275 pairs of eyeglasses were perfectly fabricated and returned to Ladakh in less than three weeks. Dr Nordan then was able to distribute them to the patients and perform a basic eye test to confirm the dramatic improvement they brought to each patient.

Other patients required surgery for their cataract conditions. The skilled surgical team of Dr Pauline Cheong, Dr Romesh Angunawela, Dr Marcus Ang and Dr. Jod Mehta, along with the seamless support team led by Sister Low, performed 37 sight restoring cataract operations.

The gratitude of the patients was heartwarming and inspirational to the entire team.

The Chief Executive Hill Councilor Mr Ringzin Spalbar as well as the Councilor for Health of Ladakh, Dr Wangchok paid an official visit to the camp and expressed the gratitude of the local government to the team for the benefits they brought to their constituents.

To continue the progress and momentum established by the international vision health care teams that have come to Ladakh over the last four years, we are now moving towards the next level of progress. In conjunction with the world renown Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology in Kathmandu, Nepal we are now sending students and health care workers to TIO for training in basic vision health care. After completion of their training, the students will return to Ladakh to work with The Himalayan Vision Project and endeavor to bring adequate vision care to virtually every remote village in Ladakh.

The dedicated nurse and dental technician at Lamdon School in Leh, Mrs Yangchan Dolma is now studying at TIO and will return to Ladakh with greatly enhanced skills to help the people of Ladakh.
The team also included two dedicated physicians who examined hundreds of patients for a wide range of general maladies. One of the most common ailments found was degenerative arthritis caused by a lifetime of climbing the mountainous terrain of Ladakh. The doctors prescribed 175 knee braces and walking sticks for some of the most severe cases and we will purchase them and have them delivered to the patients in the spring of 2012.

The 2011 Himalayan Medical Project Expedition Team

Dr Ang Han Nian Marcus

Dr Cheong Yeem Yoong Pauline

Dr. Romesh Indika Angunawela

Dr. Jodhbir Mehta

Dr. Chua Yang

Dr. Quek Swee Chong

Dr. Veronica Ventura

Dr Chong Shujuan Rachel

Dr Chung Hsi-Wei Yvonne

Dr Tan Boon Ya Petrina

Dr Pek Chern Kuok Don

Dr Lam Sing Harn Janice

Dr. Fu Raw Yueh Esther

Dr Cheryl Agnes Sng Chelvin

Dr Pang Wee Yang

Dr. Low Kiang Wee

Ms Low Siew Ngim

Ms Khor Sia Liew

Ms Tan Que Choo

Ms Chan Sau Yue

Mr James Chong

Ms Tan Lay San Carin

Ms Tan Zhen Kiat

Mr Zheng Jie

Ms Chua Soh Cheng

Ms Yeow Liew Soo

Ms Mei Wai Lin

Ms Yeo Liew Chay

Ms Chan Pei Shan Janice

Mr Leow Ter Lee Alvin

Ms Quek Kiah Jye (Jamie)

Ms Tay Eng Choo Jane

Ms. Joanne Calley

Mrs Pennie Jackson
Ladakh Medical Team

Dr Nordan Otzer

Dr. Stanzin Angmo

Dr. Dorjay Zangmo

Dr Padma Chosden
Ladakh Logistical Team

Nuri Sherpa

Duti Rai

Bhim Thapa

Nirku Rai
Delhi Team

Mr Jatinder Dhingra

Rajesh Kumar
Singapore Team

Mrs Manjeet Kaur

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