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Maintaining KSP's vaccine fridges

By Rob Rowlands

This trek was totally successful. We spent just under two weeks in the Kangchenjunga area, the highlights of which were:

•  The vaccine fridge at the Tellok health post is working well, except for
    some corrosion on the battery terminals. This post is well staffed and
    has a good supply of vaccine.

•  The vaccine fridge at Mamankhe fridge is also working well, although the
    batteries were seriously short of distilled water. This fridge gets less
    use than the one at Tellok.

•  We got the vaccine fridge at the health post at Lungthun working again.
    KSP installed this fridge in April 1999, but the two 53 watt solar panels
    had been stolen two years ago. However, in the only apparent good
    work achieved by local Maoists, the thief was shamed into replacing
    them, and did so with two 75 watt panels! He installed the replacement
    panels, but wired them incorrectly. We wired them correctly and
    installed a new battery.

•  At the Ghunsa and Folay medical clinics, we replaced the fridge
    batteries. The existing ones were 100AH truck batteries and almost
    7 years old, so had performed well. The replacements are 98AH
    deep-cycle batteries and should last at least 10 years. The Ghunsa
    clinic seems to have overcome its personnel clashes. These were in
    part due to the village's combined resistance to the Maoist, who were
    extorting ‘donations’ from the three staff, to whom KSP pays small

•  We donated a baby scale to the maternal health worker in Ghunsa.
    The contraceptive program is working well as only two babies have
    been born there in the last year.

•  The pre-school classes at Ghunsa and Folay appear to be very popular
    and well run by the mothers’ groups. We distributed clocks,
    toothbrushes, toothpaste, and hand towels.

•  We took 1500 copies of Hannah Nordhaus' Tibetan oral history books
    to Folay for distribution. The local Tibetan community is delighted
    with the result.

•  Furniture (beds, shelves, chairs and tables) for the girl’s dormitory at
    Lelep is mostly complete.