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BRINOS : A charity dedicated to the prevention and cure of Ear Disease in Nepal

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A Buddhist Stupa in Kathmandu

A typical village in the Southern Terai region of Nepal

The Himalayas seen from the air

As is shown in the later pages, BRINOS has an effect far beyond the bounds of the Ear Camps. Although performing over 300 specialist operations each year is no mean feat.

Probably it’s the ”invisible” things that make a big difference. The contact with other agencies and the government in Nepal all helps get things done - another “lever” getting ear-health-care on the agenda.

The “sister” organisation, BRINOS Ear Health Community Service (BEHCS) is having a great effect, especially in the “prevention” field. Recruiting and training the “field workers” is key to success.

At the “sharp” end there is the training of local Nepalese surgeons and technicians in specialist ENT skills. The BRINOS team can’t be there all the time after all.

We do not forget that surgery and health care are not the only remedies. A great deal of debilitating hearing loss can be rectified to great effect with hearing aids .

Thus the team is acting as a conduit to help make these more available.

BRINOS work “In Country”

Getting to Nepal

There are no direct flights to Nepal from the UK, so the normal route is through India or the Middle East. A further internal flight from Kathmandu then takes us to Nepalgunj.

According to Google Maps, it takes eleven hours by road through the mountain valleys out to Nepalgunj on the southern plains.

Local knowledge suggests that it is more like fifteen hours and it is a difficult journey (if quite spectacular).

Travelling in Nepal

The most populated area is the central valley around Kathmandu where roads and medical care are better provided.

However, in the outlying mountain villages the infrastructure can be sparse. In many parts, travel on foot is the only choice.

In Nepalgunj, travel is relatively easy, with roads in all directions. The BRINOS surgery team mainly operates there, whilst the local personnel of the Ear Health Community Service (BEHCS) team work in the town, in the outlying villages on the plains and in the Himalayan mountains.

Operational Logistics

BRINOS owns specialist equipment that has to be packed away and stored between visits.

This has been happening at the Fateh-Bal Eye Hospital in Nepalgunj in recent years. This has also been where most of the operations have been performed - in space kindly loaned by the hospital.

Planned for early 2015, this will change when the BECC is open.  This will give more space for the local  ear care team and a permanent home for surgery.

The Country of Nepal

Nepal is a small country of enormous physical contrasts. In the south is the lowland of the Terai ,a continuation of the vast Indo-Gangetic plane of Northern India. The Terai is a large area of rich agricultural land.

The capital city, Kathmandu, is situated in a valley in the central hill region at 1500m above sea level.

In the north of Nepal, bordering with Tibet is the Himalayan range, with eight of the world’s ten highest peaks, including Mount Everest at 8848m.

Nepal, the home of the Gurkhas, is one of the world’s poorest countries.

The population is ethnically diverse, with a large proportion living in rural areas depending on subsistence farming.

The majority of people follow the Hindu faith, although there are also large Buddhist and Islamic communities.

In addition to poverty, the country has also been the victim of violent civil unrest in recent years, resulting in the formation of a Federal Republic.

How and Why Does BRINOS Work in NEPAL

You can find Nepalgunj in the Centre if you zoom in. You can “pan” your view, change the satellite image to a map view, or go to the larger (Google) map. (In a new tab)
The 1st BRINOS Ear Care Centre is on Rapti Path, in Nepalgunj,opposite the Eye Hospital

South Western Nepal and Northern India - map from Google.