October 2004

Preparation for building has started and the porter shelter/rescue post structure is now set to become a reality! A team of 10 Nepali labourers has been breaking rocks to clear the site set aside by the national park and provide 650 cubic meters of building stone. As you can see, that is a lot of stone!

While CAN (Community Action Nepal, a UK charity) are providing the funds for the building, it is the local management committee, and in particular Namgyal Sherpa, who are supervising the work. The Khumbila Buffer Zone Committee has been very involved in gaining the necessary permits and has overall supervision of the project.

Meantime the volunteer doctors of the IPPG have been running the rescue post in a room at Namgyal’s lodge for the third successive season. Our rescue worker cum manager, Chhewang Sherpa, has proved to be a great asset. Due to the timely donations received from the doctors on Dr Jim’s trek, IPPG is now in a position to pay him a salary. Chhewang has many tasks, one of which is to talk to the porters passing through Machermo about health and safety matters. This will be much easier once the shelter is built.

Dr Louise Cook (UK) spent October at the post and reports being busy with several rescues organized and numerous cases of altitude illness dealt with. About half the patients were porters. Medical student Tom Martin (Australia) stayed 10 days. In November, the post is being manned by Dr Andrew Kingsley (UK).

Anyone interested in the project either as a sponsor, donor or volunteer doctor, please contact info@ippg.net.

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