Gaden Relief Projects
Helping to preserve Tibetan culture in India, Mongolia and Tibet

Mission to Ömnödelger

Although Mongolia's constitution guarantees free primary health care for every Mongolian, in reality only those with money and living in urban areas have access to adequate care. In rural areas a severe shortage of health workers means that many nomads and the poor do not get any care at all.

In eastern Mongolia, one of the underserviced rural areas is Ömnödelger, a sparsely populated district that stretches over more than 10,000 square kilometres. With a density of only one person for every two sq. km. the government health delivery system cannot reach most of the people in the district. To help, Gaden Relief organized a medical mission to provide basic primary care to the nomads and the poor in the area. Led by Canadian doctor Candace Cole and Australian acupuncturist Anthony Brown, the team traveled to Ömnödelger in a mobile clinic truck leased by Gaden Relief. The team was accompanied by Gaden Relief spiritual director Zasep Rinpoche, Manlha Tos coordinator Nyemsuren Boldbaatar, and assistants. The mobile clinic was stocked with drugs donated by Teva Canada along with acupuncture needles, herbs and other medical supplies donated by Acuneeds Australia, Cathay Herbal Laboratories, Helio Supply Company and Acupuncture Australia.

Living conditions in Ömnödelger are very harsh. There are few roads and food is scarce, especially for the nomads. Winters can be bitterly cold with temperatures dropping as low as 50 degrees Celsius below zero, taking a terrible toll on Mongolia's nomadic peoples who have lost millions of sheep, goats, horses and camels in recent years. But as difficult as life can be in Ömnödelger, it is also an area of spectacular unspoiled beauty.

Although all of the team members paid their own travel expenses and most of the medical supplies were donated, the mission's expenses were still substantial. The rough terrain requires a powerful vehicle that is reliable and will not break down far from repair services. Gaden Relief leased a former Soviet military truck and converted it into a mobile clinic. Built almost like a tank the truck has solar panels for electrical power and a satellite dish for communications and has room for the team and all the medical, food and camping supplies. Already the mobile clinic has proved its worth on previous missions.

Read the mission report!

If you are interested in supporting this and future missions like this, please consider making a donation to the Manlha Tos fund. Our Manlha Tos project is helping the poor, the disadvantaged, and the elderly in Mongolia. Your donation will go directly toward helping these people. Click on the "DONATE NOW" link below to make a donation online.

Dr Candace Cole treating patient in a temporary clinic set up inside a Mongolian yurt.

Former Soviet military truck converted into Gaden Relief's mobile clinic, equipped with solar panels and satellite dish.

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