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The Himalayan Rescue Association Nepal (HRA) has been organizing a temporary free health camp at Gosainkunda during Janaipurnima festival since 1997 to provide health care services to the pilgrims. Gosainkunda, a famous religious place is situated at an altitude of 4,380 m. Thousands of pilgrims from different parts of the country visit this sacred place during Janaipurnima to take a holy deep into the lake every year.
As Gosainkunda is located at high altitude region and pilgrims have the tendency of ascending fast. Many pilgrims are very prone to acute mountain sickness (AMS). Pilgrims are not aware of the symptoms of AMS and other mountain hazards. They do not think that they are going to suffer from altitude illness, rather they feel that they have committed sin in their life that is causing sickness. With this superstitious belief, they try harder their attempt to visit Gosainkunda lake at any cost. As they do not pay attention to the symptoms of AMS (basically they ignore the symptoms) and keep going up higher, which cause them become very sick and some time may die. In this view, HRA operates a temporary health camp to help & saves the lives of the pilgrims at Gosainkunda during Janaipurnima festival every year.
A 7 member medical team including HRA Secretary General Mr. Kumar Ranabhat as well as Program Coordinator for Gosainkunda Temporary Health Camp Program, headed to Gosainkunda on 17th August, 2010 (2067.5.1). This team worked at Gosainkunda during Janaipunima continuously for five days (day & night).
The HRA health camp provided medical facilities to about 550 patients this year. Among them, 3 were seriously ill and helped them to bring down to lower altitude. Besides altitude illness cases (AMS, High Altitude Cerebral Edema, High Altitude Pulmonary Edema), other medical problems such as Hypothermia, Pneumonia, Sprain & Injury, Diarhoea, Common Cold, Cuts, Infected wounds, Rashes, Alcohol Problems, Gastritis, Asthma and Conjunctivitis etc. were seen at our health camp at Gosainkunda.
HRA not only provides medical services to the patients but also disseminate the information about altitude sickness by distributing the brochures written about Gosainkunda and AMS to the pilgrims.
Likewise, HRA organized talk programme for the people of Bhaktapur, Madhyapur Thimi, on 12th August, 2010 (2067.4.27) to provide them information about altitude sickness and Gosainkunda trek. Mr. Gobinda Bashyal, Dr. Ashis Lohani Dr. Mani Raj Neupane and Bhuwan Acharya gave a slide presentation to the participants at two places. This programme was coordinated by Mr. Kumar Ranabhat, Secretary General, HRA. HRA organized a press meet on 16th August, 2010 at 3 PM at the HRA Office, Lazimpat, Kathmandu.