SGRA Kawaraban (Essay) in English

Lamsal Bikash “The First Health Camp in Japan for Nepal People”

In any situation, there is an important thing as long as we live.  It is a healthy body.


Without a healthy body, we cannot do anything well or we lose our motivation.  Especially in recent years, there are quite a few people who cannot take care their own health, being engrossed in their works. Health will be the most important thing especially for foreigners living in a country, not their home country.


In case of disorder in their health, these foreigners find it difficult to get medical help; unlike in their  home country where they can easily go to a hospital any time and get the needed medical care, . In Japan there are many problems if foreigners would go to a hospital, without knowing the Japanese language. There are about 3700 Nepalese students, technical trainees and self-employed persons in Tochigi and Gunma Prefectures. There are many of these people who cannot go to hospitals since they have no national health insurance cards.


The Nepalese people suffered big damages from the earthquake in Nepal on April 25, 2015.  After the earthquake, there was an activity in Japan to help Nepal and its people In the City of Ashikaga, Mr. Yoshimi Watanabe and Chief Priest Genda of a Buddhist temple, called out to enterprises in Asikaga City; 15 companies agreed to support this activity. I went to many places and consulted with many people as I wanted to initiate a project to have a “health camp” for health check-up of Nepalese in the city. The project is to be supported by Mr. Watanabe and Priest Genda.  Thanks to them, I got people who helped and supported me to establish the “Ashikaga – Nepal International Association”. On April 30 and May 1, 2016, we were able to put up a “health camp” where Nepalese could get free health check-up and enjoyed meeting at the campus of Ashikaga Institute of Technology where I am enrolled


The health camp started on April 29.  At 6:00AM, I left Ashikaga for Tokyo to fetch six Nepali doctors who were joining the health camp. After getting lunch at Ashikaga station with  the doctors, I went to the campsite and put up the signboards. At 6:00 in the evening, I went to the Asikaga Kenkou (heath) Land to welcome the doctors.


At the welcome party, 17 people from the enterprises which supported us, three from the Ashikaga Institute of Technology, three from the Nepal International Association, 10 doctors, 3 volunteers and one reporter, altogether 36 members met together to organize and manage the event. After welcome party, doctors and some volunteers stayed at the “Health Land”. 


On April 30, I arrived at the camp early in the morning as the event was to start at 9:00 AM. After preparing and installing the signboards and guideboards, we had a morning gathering with the doctors and volunteers. We set up two information desks, one for interview and another for registration of patients. After connecting a PC to a network, we prepared data for doctors who could easily access basic data of patients’ private information. The Nepalese doctors said “we are very glad to examine patients using the  Nepalese language in Japan”. Patients also said “we were examined in Nepalese language after a long time” and “we thought we were at home in Nepal”.


On this day, 82 patients were examined during 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM .


On the next day, the event went as smoothly as the first day: 68 patients were examined. At first we forecasted that the number of patients on the second day would exceed the first day.  But, I was pleased that everybody was satisfied with our work.


There was one Nepalese patient who was not understood in a Japanese hospital due to a difference between American English and King’s English. She sadly narrated: “I was not understood though I spoke properly. ’Piles’ in King’s English is ’hemorrhoid’ in American English. In Japan, American English is main stream and ’Piles” cannot be understood. In India, Pakistan and Nepal, which had been English colonies, they use “piles” even now.  She thought she would be understood in Japanese hospitals, but she was not.


There was one case which we could not solve in the health check-up time. It was a consultation from a young lady. She went to the obstetrics and gynecology hospital in Japan to remove “Norplant” which was inserted in Nepal, as she wanted to get pregnant, But she was refused service because Japanese hospitals do not deal with “Norplant”. “Norplant” are simple and slender tools which are inserted under the skin. Removing it will require a small surgical operation. 


We stopped the medical check-ups at four o’clock as the Charge d’Affaires of Nepal would come to the place at 4:30. We fixed up the place in a hurry. A thanksgiving feast started after the arrival of the Charge d’Affaires, Gahendra Rajbhandari. Forty seven  persons, including Charge d’Affaires, Gahendra Rajbhandari, Mr. Yoshimi Watanabe, Chairman of the Ashikaga – Nepal International Association, and Priest Genda, Vice-Chairman of the Association participated in the thanksgiving. Hon. Gahendra Rajbhandari said “I realized, on the occasion of the Nepal-Japan Friendship 60th anniversary, how strong is the friendly relation between Nepal and Japan.  And we could have this event as we have such friendship”.


Hon. Gahendra Rajbhandari presented the Certificate of Appreciation to Ashikaga Institute of Technology and the Ashikaga – Nepal International Association. Mr. Watanabe and Priest Genda, Chairman and the Vice-Chairman, respectively, of the Association presented the Letter of Thanks, covered by the Nepalese “DakaTopii” (Nepalese yellow and sacred cloth- Kada), to Dr. Hidemaro Tochigi, the Director of Tochigi Obstetrics and Gynecology, and to the volunteers. 


Lastly, the event ended with light meals.


Many patients told us “thank you very much for such a nice event!” or “I hope there would be such an event twice a year.” Volunteers also expressed their thanks saying ”I appreciate to have joined this event”.


It seems this event was very impressive for all of us.


(Ph.D. candidate, Ashikaga Institute of Technology)



Translated by Kazuo Kawamura

English checked by Mac Maquito


SGRA Kawaraban in Japanese 494 (Original )