Expeditions

2020-2021 Schedule

To fulfill longer elective requirements of certain medical schools, HHE now offers clinic work extension of 2-4 weeks on either end of an expedition to make it a total of 6-8 week international health rotation. Please contact us for more details.

June 5 – July 3, 2020

Pangi (Greater Himalayas)

Rugged and remote Pangi lies sandwiched between the two towering Himalayan mountain ranges of Zanskar and Pir Panjal. A challenging, vehicular road takes us over the famous Rohtang Pass (13,200 feet) into Lahaul valley and, further, to the thickly forested and isolated valley of Pangi. This 4 week medical & dental expedition offers a rare opportunity to trek through a lesser-known region of the Western Himalayas. Our team will hold clinics in several villages and settlements while experiencing the land and culture that few have had the privilege to witness.

Trip Description, Route & Photos

july 1 – july 21, 2020

spiti (indo-tibetan borderland)

Once a part of the ancient western Tibetan kingdom of Guge, Spiti’s villages provided a stop-over for trade caravans between Kashmir and Tibet. Spiti is a thinly-populated region with a population count of one person per square mile, its altitude and remoteness have limited the local health care providers to serve the region on regular basis. This is a land of 9th century Buddhist monasteries and the village of Kibber, the world’s highest, permanent human settlement. Camps are set up in several villages of Spiti Valley.

Trip Description, Route & Photos

July 16 – August 5, 2020

medical-anthropology expedition (spiti & dharamsala)

Himalayan Health Exchange organizes a medical and cultural anthropological expedition to the Indian Himalayas every summer. In order to enhance the learning experience of participants, this medical-anthropological expedition will also include socio-cultural and religious teachings of the Western Himalayas with daily yoga and meditations sessions. HHE will offer participants a practical approach to the study of India, Tibet and the Himalayan culture while attending a 6-day, preventive health camp. During their journey, team members will have the opportunity to investigate local history, religious beliefs and practices, modern human adaptations, regional effects of globalization, monastic life and local healthcare. In addition, through trekking and camping in remote areas, they will observe the interconnectedness of the magnificent natural environment with a daily local existence. This first-hand experience will be accompanied by daily yoga & meditation sessions and academic lectures. Participation is open to medical and Anthropology students of all levels.

Location and Introduction to the expedition routes

august 2-28, 2020

kargiakh (High altitude trek)

This is a medical/dental trek through several remote Trans-Himalayan villages of Zanskar (Ladakh). Team members will fly to Leh (11,500ft). After rest and acclimatization of 2 days, team members will drive to Padum and set out on a trail which is high in altitude, rough, challenging and lies above the Himalayan tree line. All clinic and campsites are located between 12,000 ft – 13,500 ft. Access to health facilities is extremely limited for the local people and the only way to get to them is on foot.

Please read Iowa Medical Students Serve Remote Villagers in Ladakh, India

Trip Description, Route & Photos

october 1-28, 2020

Chansal (inner himalayas)

This medical & dental trek is scheduled to provide annual follow-up care to our patients in several villages and tribal settlements located in the Inner Himalayas. Our team will drive and hike through remote villages and settlements and deliver primary health care and free medicines to over 2,500 patients. Clinics will be set-up in village community centers. Altitude, rain and wet ground conditions can make this a moderately strenuous experience.

Trip Description, Route & Photos

february 1-28, 2021

outer himalayas (winter camp)

During this 4-week travel, our team will hold clincis in remote villages, Tibetan settlements, monasteries, monastic schools and a nunnery located in the Dhauladhar (White Mountain) Range of the Western Himalayas. Daily work schedule includes seven hours of clinical and preventive health care during which participating health care workers and students work under the supervision of US-based and board certified physicians to provide care and educate patients on issues related to personal and oral hygiene, diet and nutrition. Free medicines and supplies are provided to hundreds of patients of all ages. Five to six out-patient stations will be set up and teams will be rotated periodically to allow each team member to gain a supervised hands-on clinical experience in all available specialties. Each station will have one interpreter. Patients with serious ailments that require follow-ups will be referred to the closest state hospital.

Trip Description, Route & Photos

april 1-28, 2021

dharamsala

Dharamsala lies in the shadow of the Dhauladhar, or White Mountain, Range which reaches an altitude of 18,500 feet. Six miles north is Mcleodganj, home to the exiled Tibetans and their religious leader, His Holiness Gyatso Tenzing, the 14th Dalai Lama. The local population is a mix of Tibetans, Gaddis and north Indians, and the village buzzes with travelers from around the globe.

Please read 20 Days in the Himalayas: A Doctor’s Journey from Cardiology Magazine.

Trip Description, Route & Photos

COVID-19
Given the global outbreak of the novel corona virus (COVID-19), along with surrounding unpredictable circumstances and travel restrictions, we have cancelled all 2020 expeditions. The health and safety of our medical team members and staff is of the utmost importance, in addition to the populations we serve. We expect to return to a full schedule starting in early 2021 depending on the easing of travel restrictions.