Himalaya Winter Rescue
train a rescue and emergency team in Zanskar valley
In Zanskar, in the Indian Himalayas, 14’000 people are isolated from the rest of India for as long as 5 to 7 consecutive winter months due to heavy snowfalls blocking the few road accesses through mountain passes. There is no rescue service in case of emergency or critical medical condition.
This is where our project fits in.
We plan to train a team of 8 young Zanskari in rescue and emergency medicine, including basic support in birth delivy and postnatal care, and starting from March 2018.
After several years of cooperation with the local health care workers, the need for a rescue service during the winter season emerged as a priority.
● Teach basic skills in rescue medicine
● Teach advanced emergency medicine skills for the medical staff
● Teach safe patient transport with a patient rescue sled
● Ensure a free rescue service for the population
● Ensure a payroll for the rescue team staff
● Ensure annual continuous training for the rescue team
● 4 medical rescue staff members : 3 young nurses: Stanzin Dolma, Pedma Lamo, Stanzin Naskit and 1 traditional Tibetan medicine doctor: Tashi Drojay, 45 years old
Medical and rescue equipment, including communication devices, will be provided to the rescue team
The Swiss Society of Mountain Medicine as well as Nettomed, Lowa, Leki, Gloryfy, Xsocks, Zanskar sportshop have already agreed to be partners of the project
• Rescue material: 7’300 CHF
• Medical equipment: 5’000 CHF
• Logistics and transport costs for experts: 6’600 CHF
• Salary for the rescue team for 2018 : 7’800 CHF
● a emergency physician & mountain medicine expert from Switzerland
● a mountain guide from Switzerland
These professionals will provide the training to the Zanskari team on a voluntary basis and during their spare time.
2. We work together with the local governmental and traditional health system
3. We are providing a previously non-existent yet essential way to improve access to the already existing hospital and health system.
4. We are training local professionals and creating local jobs.
5. We are creating a teaching opportunity for a local population who is generally denied access to many professional training / career opportunities, which is especially true for young women.
6. We are focusing on the winter season, the most critical period.
7. We favour pragmatism and collaboration with our local partners and friends, in a bottom-up approach.
8. By improving on the health system we contribute to make it possible for the inhabitants to keep living in their valley and maintain their culture and identity.
We are Yeshi and Rebecca, a Swiss-Zanskari couple. Since 2013, we share our life between Switzerland and Zanskar in India, to stay close to our families and friends, but also to conduct a series of field studies on how to improve the healthcare system in Zanskar. This interest led to the creation in January 2017 of Zanskar Health Association, a non-profit organization (registered in canton Uri), together with a group of friends and partners.
Who are we?
● Yeshi, president of the association. He has grown up in Zanskar and, as a trekking guide, knows his valley and its inhabitants like the back of his hand.
● Rebecca, secretary of the association. She has grown up in Switzerland, is a junior doctor with a particular interest in public health and the practice of family medicine in remote, or mountainous areas.
● Eric, treasurer and in charge of fundraising. He lives in Lausanne, is an osteopath, a traveller and a mountaineer.
● Hannes and Erica. Communication managers, also in charge of fundraising. They live in Davos.
We are enthusiastic about working together, having already conducted different meaningful projects with our friends in Zanskar before, and now we look forward to launch this more ambitious project together, the Zanskar Rescue Team.