Saturday, 7 August 2010

Medical Expedition

Nuristan region of Afghanistan July 2010
I wanted to write to you directly regarding my upcoming trip to Nuristan, a remote province in Afghanistan. I will be trekking for over three weeks as part of a medical team in to the mountains of this inaccessible area to deliver medical care to the people living there. Working in conjunction with the International Assistance Mission (, an organisation that has been working in Afghanistan for over forty years, I will act as the team doctor and run the mother and child clinics once inside Nuristan. The expedition team also includes an eye doctor and a dental surgeon as well as me as the general physician.

I wondered if you might consider making a donation to support this expedition. The funds will be used to buy medicines and medical equipment and to fund the transport and logistics of the trek.

I am currently fundraising for this expedition – My target is $7000 USD, approximately £4,700 GBP

Afghanistan has the highest rates of maternal and infant mortality in the world; one in five children die before the age of one (World bank stats for 2008). The communities who live in these remote areas get no medical care at all, so we are hoping to be able to make a really big difference to the lives and livelihoods of the people that we meet there.
The trek will not be easy; it will take three weeks and be done on foot and with packhorses - no vehicles can access the mountainous terrain. The highest reaches of the mountains are at approximately 16,000 feet and snow covered.

The expedition will require a lot of physical and mental resolve and will not be without risk but ultimately, I believe that the provision of medical treatment is of fundamental importance and that the effort is worth it in order to assist those that need it most.
Starting from the province of Badakhshan in the North of Afghanistan we will load up packhorses and begin the walk up the Munjan valley, travelling through another valley takes us to a pass that leads into the Parun Valley. We will begin at about 7,000ft, ascend to almost 16,000ft before dropping down to around 9,500 ft for our final destination. The total walking distance will be 120 miles round trip.
We will be dealing with a population of around 50,000 people in the region, many of

whom will travel to meet us along the way to be given medical care. The Munjan population are Ismaili Muslims while the Nuristanis are Sunni

and of a distinct cultural background. Common

ailments include respiratory infections, parasites,

worms, and skin infections as well as more

seriously debilitating conditions such as cataracts, malnutrition, traumatic injuries, and child birthing


With your generosity:
£25 buys a 7 day course of Co-Amoxiclav, a broad spectrum antibiotic.

£50 buys analgesia, anti diarrhoea medication, rehydration solutions.

£100 buys bandages, syringes, needles and disposable gloves

£150 buys food and water for one team member for the trip

£250 buys vaccines and analgesia

£500 buys a portable solar panel – enough to power essential equipment such as satellite phones and GPS tracking equipment

The area in North Eastern Nuristan that we will reach is one of great harshness but of great beauty also. I hope that we will be able to provide medical care for a large number of people.

I would be most grateful for your contribution no matter how big or small.