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Toronto paramedic joins Nepal expedition to provide health care to nomads

Toronto paramedic joins Nepal expedition to provide health care to nomads

Toronto paramedic James Hinds is gearing up for a medical expedition to help the nomadic people of Nepal with the hopes the trek will widen his own senses.

"As a paramedic I can see limits and I want to come back with a wider sense of compassion," said Hinds, a Buddhist and single parent.

"I want to push my limits physically and spiritually."

This fall, he will join with the Upaya Institute out of Santa Fe, New Mexico, for the mission in the remote Humla region of Nepal to work in clinics that provide emergency room-style care, services for women and children, dental and osteopathy, and diabetes treatment.

The journey will start in Kathmandu where the group will be flown to more remote areas before riding on horseback across hundreds of kilometers of mountains, valleys and deserts to visit six clinics and care for 1,000 patients with no access to medical care in one of the world's poorest regions.

The 20 volunteer healthcare providers on the mission typically run clinics in monasteries, nomad camps or villages with no running water or electricity.

Hinds first met Roshi Joan Halifax, of the Upaya Institute, in 2018 at a seminar for resiliency and mental health for health care professionals at the Hospital for Sick Children.

He said he was inspired by Halifax and her humanitarian projects. Upaya has been running nomadic clinics since the 1980s.

"This evoked a clarity of deeper meaning and purpose for my life, both professionally and personally," Hinds said, adding he believes the journey will help him better serve people in his daily life.

"She seemed like the type of person who could lead an army. After the workshop I followed her and was inspired to emulate her," he said.

Hinds said there are many medical missions he could have joined to third-world destinations, but he chose to travel with Upaya, which is a Buddhist Order.

"This isn't a Buddhist trip, although the people on it happen to be Buddhists. They are sensitive to the subtleties of the culture and aren't trying to change it," he said.

Hinds has set up a GoFundMe campaign — Medical Services in Humla, Nepal — to help cover his share of supplies and goods needed for the month-long mission in September.



News Source:  torontosun.com

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