Building upon the progress made on previous medical missions to the remote Nubra Valley of Ladakh,
Women's Health Project
The Himalayan Women’s Health project has been in operation in Ladakh since 2009 and has conducted numerous major screening, treatment and education camps in some of the most remote areas of the North Indian Himalayan region. Its main focus is on the prevention and treatment of cervical cancer, as well as to provide gynecological and pregnancy-related care to the women of Ladakh.
Cervical cancer is the most common cancer among women in India and the disease kills more women in India than in anywhere else in the world. We have found high rates of cervical pre-cancer in this isolated and remote area. The project has adopted a single-visit approach for the detection and treatment using a simple and cost effective method of screening known as Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA). This involves applying a weak vinegar solution to the cervix and observing the changes that occur. Women who have the visible pre-cancerous (cervical cells) changes then undergo a more thorough examination known as colposcopy, and are offered treatment under local anesthesia if necessary. The HWHP has been conducting regular screening and treatment camps and to date has screened almost 9,000 women and provided surgical treatments for over 600 patients with serious precancerous lesions or other maladies
Another important aspect of the work of HWHP is to educate local women about various aspects of women’s health, as well as to train local healthcare workers to perform the screening techniques. This will ensure continuity in the screening process, and eventually, we hope to train enough healthcare workers to be able to continue and expand the program.
Looking ahead, we hope to take the next, best possible step toward the long term health and welfare of the women of Ladakh by introducing the safe and effective vaccine that protects women from the HPV virus that has been proven to be the cause of cervical cancer in most instances.
2017 – Mission Statement
There are over 40,000 women in the Ladakh region that are at risk from cervical cancer. Many of them are already infected with the HPV virus that has been shown to be the primary cause of this extremely serious illness. The goal of The Himalayan Women's Heath Project is to address the problem with a two tiered strategy:
- Screen and treat older, sexually active women for infection from the HPV virus and if necessary, treat them surgically for their developing precancerous lesions before that condition becomes a life threatening malignancy. We are sending local physicians to The National Cancer Center in Calcutta so they can be trained in the screening techniques that will enable infected women to be identified. When significant numbers of women needing surgery for their conditions are confirmed, then Dr Quek Swee Chong will fly to Ladakh from Singapore and perform the surgeries. He has left all the necessary sophisticated equipment required for these surgeries with us in Ladakh so logistically it is now relatively easy for him to fly in and perform 100+ of the procedures in only a few days. The next such surgical treatment mission is scheduled for August, 2017.
- Introduce the safe and effective vaccine for the HPV virus that causes cervical cancer. The vaccines are widely available in developed, affluent places such as Europe, the United States and other metropolitan areas of India but they are prohibitively expensive for an rural, agricultural based population such as Ladakh. Dr Quek Swee Chong has been able to negotiate heavily discounted prices for the vaccines from the pharmaceutical companies holding the exclusive patents because of his humanitarian reputation as well as our assurances that the vaccines will be distributed free of charge. The only obstacle now is gaining final permission and cooperation from the local medical officials.
Brief Description about Digger/Tangya/Khemma These villages are situated on the eastern side of the Nubra Valley, which is located 80 km from the Headquarter of Nubra. These villages are some of the most difficult locations in terms of accessibility and the harsh climate as it is located at altitude ranging from 15000-16500 ft above sea…read more
A major fund raising event will be held March 8th at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Singapore to mark the 100th International Women’s Day. We are extremely honored and grateful that The Himalayan Women’s Health Project has been designated as the recipient of all proceeds raised during the event. Dr Chua Yang and Dr Myra…read more
There was a heavy snowfall over last few days and the whole valley was laden in white blanket of snow. Everything around was serene and beautiful. But it has created a bit of nuisance over the road as it has become slippery due to melting snow, which in turn got frozen into a sheet of…read more
Day 1: 28/11/2010 1:29pm:
November 20th, 2010 Time:-9:08 am We were ready for Hunder Dok with our bags are pack and shoes lace are tied, set out from Home Cum Office, SDH Disket Nubra.
The goals achieved by the Himalayan Dental Project during 2010 would not have been possible without the generosity and dedication of the following dentists and donors who shared their skills and contributions for the welfare of the good people of Ladakh.
On July 17, 2010, Dr. Myra Elliott returned to Ladakh for the third consecutive year in order to continue her follow-up efforts to bring a wide range of dental and medical health care treatment to the people living in one of the most remote areas of the Himalayas. After a year of post-expedition analysis and…read more
Dr. Myra Elliott has committed to bringing another Dental / Medical team to Ladakh in August 2010. This will include a major cataract surgical team led by Dr. Ranjana Sanjay Mathur, director of the Singapore National Eye Center. Dr. Marcus Ang diagnosed over 50 cases of severe cataract conditions during the 2009 expedition and now…read more
Dr. Elliott’s team arrived in Nubra Valley and after a greeting by most of the community, immediately set up a fully operational dental clinic in the dining hall of Lamdon School in the main village of Disket. In addition, several other classrooms were utilized for private clinics specializing in eye care, general medical conditions as…read more