Humla

About Humla

Humla is one of Nepal’s most inaccessible district and is located in far northwest Nepal.  There is a population of around 45,000 living in scattered village in the lower valleys of the Himalayas, between 1500 – 7300m altitude. Simikot is the district headquarters.   

There are no roads in the district. Food security is extremely low and the community depend on food-aid flows in by helicopter. There are particularly high levels of malnutrition and very poor maternal health and child health. 

PHASE Nepal activities in Humla

PHASE has been working in Humla since March 2018, our projects cover Maila, Melchham and Jair, three of the most remote communities in the region.Our programme includes the following projects. 

  • Community Health Project
  • Women’s literacy
  • Livelihood improvement
  • School Access Programmes

The villages PHASE work in have a total population of around 4,700, but the total number of beneficiaries is much greater. Many live outside the villages and some travel for long distances from neighbouring communities, and even from outside the district, to attend our facilities as health provision is so poor elsewhere. The success of the PHASE health facilities is partly due to PHASE’s excellent reputation in rural communities across Nepal.

Map of PHASE Nepal project areas in HumlaMap of PHASE Nepal project areas in Humla

PHASE Health Projects in Humla

Our health posts in Humla have been a huge success to date – each one has an average daily attendance of around 50 patients.

Before PHASE arrived in 2008, there were regular diarrhoea epidemics across the district which devastated communities. Since PHASE arrived diarrhoea epidemics are not as frequent. Our health staff have worked tirelessly to help eradicate the epidemics through education about basic hygiene.

PHASE clinics also concentrate on maternal, pre, post and neonatal care. Before PHASE arrived, maternal and child death rates were high. Now, thanks to the work of PHASE health workers at health clinics, both have been reduced.

Health education Programme in HumlaHealth education Programme in Humla

Chhaupadi

Due to the remoteness of Humla, many traditions still exist that are not practiced in such extreme ways elsewhere in Nepal. This includes chhaupadi – where menstruating women and those about to give birth are considered impure. They are forced to remain in unhygienic cattle sheds away from their homes and families, and are forbidden from consuming vegetables, fruit and milk.

The practice results in many health complications for women, including malnutrition, infections, diarrhoea and chest infections. Sadly these are not the only problems – rape, harrassment, theft, snake bites and attacks from wild animals are common.

The PHASE health programme in partnership with the District Health Office of Humla to address the ongoing tradition of chhaupadi by raising awareness of the dangers of both this practice and giving birth unattended. This is empowering many women to break from the harmful tradition.

Links about our Projects in Humla

Read about our staff visit to Humla in June 2016.  

Read about our education access programme in Humla

Read about Dr Dilys Noble’s visit to Humla in November 2014