Let's call him Sonam.
He came into Leh with a toothache. Went to the district hospital to relieve his pain. There, he was tested for hep B - just in case. Sonam was positive. Counseled to have other family members come in for the test, it turns out that 8 of 9 family members have the virus.
Let's call her Dolkar.
She was sitting next to me waiting to see the ADC and reading over my shoulder. An interesting article on overcoming stigma in STI testing. "Hepatitis. What's that?" she asked. Never vaccinated, never tested and newly married hoping to have a child soon.
What is it with government health education programmes? Looking at Best Practices for Community Health, 9 of the top 10 components of effective health education are missing in Ladakh. From locally-planned and coordinated education programmes, to mass marketing campaigns, to free information lines and community-based follow up - all missing.
This summer we are fortunate to have a volunteer who will look at the daunting issue of hep B in Ladakh, asking how we can
Cynthia will be blogging as she works with our Himalayan projects this year.