Sandesh and Bhagteshwar's ABC Challenge - Days Three & Four

Day 3 - Chhomrong to Dovan

Day 3 started decidedly colder than the other days. The altitude meant that the ambient temperature was colder. This day was easily the hardest of the trek starting with a decent of approximately 300m then a big ascent of approximately 400m towards Sinwa followed by a slow ascent to Dovan.

We faced a warm morning, a very hot midday, a rainy afternoon and heavy hail when we finally arrived at Dovan 8 hours after leaving Chomrong. I was really feeling the heavy pack at this point and made the difficult decision to leave a few things at Dovan before continuing up towards ABC.

I had found days 2 and 3 so difficult that I was concerned I would not be able to make ABC as the air gets thinner. Leaving clothes, some spare batteries and my sleeping bag, I managed to lighten my bag by about 3kg and decided that I would use the blankets provided by the lodges further up the trail.

Although our net gain for the day was less than 500m, due to the many ups and downs my Garmin watch estimated that he climbed about 1150m overall, higher than the height of Snowdon.

Distance: 12.7km, Net ascent: 430m

Day 4 - Chhomrong to MBC

Since I was small I had known the name of Machapuchre, meaning fish tail. However I never full understood why it was referred to as a fish tail as every photo I had seen showed the mountain from Pokhara where it always looked like a triangle or pyramid.

However Day 4 started with a view of Machapuchre that made me finally understand where it got its name. While the net ascent for the day was a lot more than for the previous day the lighter bag and steady ascent rather than big ascents and decents from the previous days meant the day went a lot smoother.

We went through a hazardous avalanche area. We realised the danger of this not just from the avalanche sign but also by our guide, Kumar’s change in demeanor, he was visibly more tense than he had been on the previous days. We also went past an area where we saw lots of small rock piles. Kumar told us that these were for good luck and added to by travellers on their way up to ABC. Only on the way back 2 days later when we passed the same spot did Kumar tell us that these were remembrance shrines to those that had lost their lives to avalanches in this area!

As we neared Machapuchre Base Camp (MBC) we encountered snow for the first time. The weather closed in as we arrived in MBC and we managed to get in and warm just before a storm that brought with it winds and snow.

Distance: 12.4 km, Net ascent: 1100m


Doctors thank Aintree colleagues for support in £100,000 fundraising campaign as Nepal marks a year on from the earthquake

Leading doctors have presented Aintree University Hospital with a thank you plaque to mark support for our fundraising appeal to provide earthquake disaster and recovery support in Nepal.

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the Himalayan country on 25 April 2015, killing 9,000 people and injuring more than 23,000.

Dr Shambhu Acharya, HExN committee member, said:

“Many clinicians at Aintree University Hospital supported us with donations, fundraising and offers of help. Initially we supplied immediate disaster relief, such as survival kits and shelters. More funds were used to rebuild schools and supply hospitals, and assist local Nepalese charities. A year on from the earthquake, we are now helping develop the Nepalese medical services over a longer term, including supporting more rehabilitation services, which are very limited.”

Surgeons from Aintree University Hospital took part in fundraising challenges which saw them go barefoot, and doctors, nurses and allied health professionals made donations at a special presentation event.

Steve Warburton, Chief Executive of Aintree University Hospital, who also took part in the fundraising challenge, said:

“Staff at Aintree really rallied round, and we are honoured to receive this recognition from Health Exchange Nepal. It really brings things home to you, when you hear of how donations of even a few pounds made such a difference to people in Nepal.”

A year on from the earthquakes, an estimated three million people (600,000 households) in Nepal are still without permanent shelter, so your donations to the earthquake appeal are more important than ever before. To donate, please visit

Top Doctors Praise Scouse Fundraisers as Nepal Earthquake Appeal Hits £100,000 Target

Leading doctors have praised the “amazing kindness” of Liverpudlians as a fundraising appeal for people in Nepal whose lives were devastated by earthquakes hits its £100,000 target.

Health Exchange Nepal UK (HExN) is a charity run by doctors from across the UK which provides clinical and educational support to healthcare organisations and schools in the Himalayan country, which saw 9,000 people perish and 23,000 suffer life-changing injuries in earthquakes in 2015.

In response, the charity, which is run on a shoestring, launched an ambitious £100,000 appeal – and Merseysiders gave the biggest donations, including £10,000 from the Merseyside School of Anaesthesia and a fundraising night at the city’s Mayur Restaurant, supported by the Avishkar charity, which made £3,700.

As a result, the doctors invited Joe Anderson, the Mayor of Liverpool, to officially present the £10,000 cheque – and he even added a further £2,000 to the appeal total from his charity fund.

Dr Shambhu Acharya of HExN, who is a consultant anaesthetist at Aintree University Hospital, said: “We have been totally over-whelmed by the amazing kindness of people across Liverpool and Merseyside. No-one is paid in the charity, so every single penny donated makes a difference to the lives of people in Nepal.

“In the immediate aftermath of the earthquakes, we focused on providing survival kits and shelters. We then used more funds to help rebuild schools and supply hospitals, and assist small local charities working on the ground in Nepal. Now we are investing in longer term aid, such as helping strengthen Nepal’s rehabilitation services, which are very limited. These are the types of things which can help survivors who have had life-changing injuries.”

Mayor Joe Anderson said: “Liverpool has a vibrant and long-established Nepalese community, and it is heart-warming to see how people have rallied round to help. Liverpool’s kindness is known around the world and it is great to see how this generosity is helping thousands of people, from children to grandparents, who have been faced with such terrible experiences.”

James Paget University Hospitals Medics Deliver Ultrasounds In Nepal

Six months after their original mission, medics from the James Paget University hospitals (JPUH) have returned to Nepal to donate a new ultrasound machine funded by SonoSite and the charity Health Exchange Nepal (HExN).

During their original visit our medics used ultrasound on earthquake survivors to effectively deliver medical procedures and anaesthetic blocks. The medical facilities in Nepal aren’t as advanced as our own here in the UK and so they didn’t have an ultrasound machine themselves, but quickly saw the benefits the equipment offers.

After returning from Nepal in May this year, Kamal Aryal, a native to Nepal and a general surgeon at JPUH, decided he wanted to do more and started looking into getting the Nepalese medics a machine of their own. After months of arranging it is fantastic news that Mr Aryal and his colleague Andreas Brodbeck, an anaesthetist, are out in Nepal right now delivering training on the new machine.

Our medics are also keen on supporting education for children and have been personally fundraising to make sure education continues despite the destruction caused by the earthquake last April. They have visited two villages, Darbung and Arrubas, so far and are pleased to report building work has begun on new schools and methods are in place for bringing in clean water.

Andreas Brodbeck said: “Nepal has been a little forgotten in the media lately but it’s still a country that needs help. Very little has happened apart from the things inhabitants have managed to do themselves”.

Aberystwyth Nepalese Community Holds Charity Dinner

In support of leprosy and the recent earthquake relief, on behalf of Health Exchange Nepal (UK), Aberystwyth Nepalese Community organised a fundraising charity dinner in the evening of 27th June 2015 at Aberystwyth Rugby Club. The event was well attended by families of doctors and nurses from Bronglais General Hospital, local GP Dr Heather Cox and her family, staff from Little Angel’s Nursery and Wales Assembly Government, and Aberystwyth Asian Community.

Retired community paediatrician Dr Junu Upadhyaya who personally witnessed the devastating first earthquake in Nepal welcomed and introduced about the event. Church Surgery GP Dr Heather Cox shared her 3 years experience of looking after leprosy patients in eastern part of the Nepal, the 4 years experience of working in community clinic in western Nepal. She also told her interesting story of how she met her husband Mr Jono Cox (hydropower engineer) in Nepal, and got married in the UK. Their daughter Hannah was born in Nepal. Dr Sandesh Acharya, GP from Liverpool told that although leprosy has been eradicated, there are still 1 in 20,000 effected people in Nepal who are living their life in hatred. These people need love and care. He mentioned about a small charity hospital called “SEWA KENDRA” in Kathmandu, run by few doctors to help patients with Leprosy, mainly for treatment and rehabilitation. He pledged for helping this hospital..

The evening was very emotional by listening to a story of former Penglais Pupil Mr Jan Zeber. Jan was travelling to Nepal for an adventurous trekking to Annapurna base camp while earthquake hit Nepal on 25th of April. He realised only after a week that his parents Dr Jack Zeber (Consultant Anaesthetist at Bronglais General Hospital)) and Dr Alexandra Zeber (GP in Padarn Surgery) were extremely worried about him, as he was out of contact while earthquake hit the country.

An active member and fund raiser of Health Exchange Nepal (UK) Dr Shambhu Acharya (consultant anaesthetist from Liverpool) gave an emotional talk on recent devastating earthquake and how people are helping for fund raising following the charity’s pledge. Around 20 Nepalese Doctors Volunteers went to Nepal for immediate medical help and distribution of relief materials. With the collected fund the charity has already constructed 100 temporary shelters for earthquake survivors in villages, and planning to construct more shelters, toilets, schools and health posts in villages (which will last for few years). The charity is looking forward to its ambitious project of establishing rehabilitation centre for survivors (who lost their limbs) at Dhulikhel Hospital, in collaboration with Kathmandu University School of Medical Sciences. It will involve construction of artificial limbs, training and teaching staff and rehabilitation of patients. Dr Acharya appreciated the help provided by local people.

Display of handicrafts and promotional video show about Nepal helped for learning  more about the country. The event was entertained by a small cultural programme. Aberystwyth University lecture Dr Dev Acharya sang a peace song about the Buddha and love to Nepal. Little Angel’s staff Mrs Pramita Khoju and guest from Liverpool Mrs Gyanu Ghimire performed beautiful Nepali dances in traditional nepali costumes. Penglais A level pupil Pramesh Khoju conducted raffle prizes and gave a vote of thanks to all attendants and non attendants who contributed for the event, and Aberystwyth Rugby Club.

The event raised around £1500.