Promoting Healthy Tibetan Communities

In many Tibetan settlements, living conditions remain at the subsistence level and refugees are susceptible to serious illnesses and diseases due to lack of basic knowledge about diseases and preventive health strategies. The Tibet Fund accords high priority to providing qualitative, accessible and adequate healthcare services and improved sanitation facilities to the Tibetan refugee community. Our support through intervention, prevention, and education is aimed at promoting health and dismantling any barriers that the Tibetan community faces in healthcare services and resources.

Essential Health Services for Vulnerable Tibetans in India and Nepal

With the grant from the US Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), The Tibet Fund continues to support CTA programs that strengthen the existing healthcare infrastructure and outreach capabilities while providing essential services for the most vulnerable refugees. In 2017 alone,

  • 72,680 Tibetans receive access to affordable primary health services at 47 settlements in India and Nepal, in addition to ante and post-natal pregnancy services, child vaccinations, clean water supply and sanitation, public health education, gynecological screening for women, and free treatment for TB patients.
  • 3,278 highly vulnerable refugees received free medical care and financial support including the economically destitute, disadvantaged elders, the physically and mentally disabled, torture survivors, substance abuse victims, and TB, HIV, leprosy and epilepsy patients.

Maternal & Child Health

students rewarded with candies after receiving thier vaccinationNew and expecting Tibetan mothers often face enormous challenges during pregnancy and childbirth due to poor quality of gynecological and antenatal care at public hospitals and cultural barriers in discussing reproductive health with healthcare providers. With the funding support from the US PRM grant and working in partnership with the CTA’s Department of Health and the Snow Lion Foundation, The Tibet Fund has supported in the provision of high-quality maternal, reproductive and child health services to thousands of Tibetan women and children. In 2016 alone,

health camp at Tserok

  • 1,084 pregnant women received essential pregnancy services
  • 3,312 women attended reproductive health education talks
  • 541 women in Nepal received free gynecological screenings
  • 640 children aged 0-5 years received traditional micronutrients
  • 206 children from poor families were given special nutrients such as fruit, milk, and eggs
  • 621 children from the remote regions of Arunachal Pradesh received free health screenings and emergency treatment

Clean Drinking Water

3Funded by the US State Department and private donations including from the Flora Foundation, Clear Water Project, and Hershey Family Foundation, The Tibet Fund has supported several projects in collaboration with the CTA’s Department of Home and Snow Lion Foundation. By funding water infrastructure and facilities, we not only managed to provide safe and clean drinking water but also help in combating the spread of waterborne illnesses in the Tibetan settlements and schools. Some program highlights in this area are:Nursery School, Dickey Larso Settlement, Bylakupee

  • Seven overhead water tanks with built-in infiltration mechanism and piping system were connected to every household in Mainpat Tibetan settlement with a grant of $102,230.
  • Four hand pumps were installed in the remote and semi-arid Tibetan areas of Hanley, Kagshug, Nugutse, and Ringthung in Jangthang, Ladakh, with a grant of $19,025.
  • New water storage tanks were built in the Tibetan settlements of Rajpur, Kham Kathok, Boshi. An overhead water tank was built in Mundgod settlement.
  • Two drinking water storage tanks and three water purifiers were installed at the Tibetan schools of Sambhota, Arlikumari, Gulledhala, and Kailashpura in Bylakuppee.
  • Sinking three wells with submersible pumps were built in Phuntsokling settlement.
  • A grant of $20,000 was given to CST Mussoorie School to address acute water shortage faced by the students and the staff.
  • In collaboration with Lha Charitable Trust, water purification systems were installed in three institutions in Dharamsala, Shimla and Sataun that benefitted the elderly and school children.
  • In Nepal, two underground water tanks were built at Srongtsen Bhrikuti High School in Kathmandu, a water purification system was installed at Choejor Settlement Office and a water storage tank was built at Old People’s Home in Swayambu, Kathmandu.

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Free Dental Camp

IMG_2384In partnership with the New York University College of Dentistry (NYUCD), Henry Schein Cares, 7 Summits Foundation and Srongtsen Bhrikuti High School, The Tibet Fund has organized free dental camps in Nepal for five consecutive years since 2013. Around 35-40 dentists, hygienists and post graduate students from NYUCD visit Nepal for one week and provide comprehensive dental care, preventive services, examinations, treatments and oral hygiene education to thousands of Tibetans including elders and children.

Free Hearing Mission

Hearing impairment is one of the chronic health problems of the elderly Tibetans in the exile Tibetan community. With the help of The Starkey Foundation and in collaboration with Pema Ts’al Sakya Monastic Institute of Pokhara and assistance from Mr. Tamdin Dorje of the Tibetan Welfare Office of Kathmandu, a total of 626 Tibetans and other Himalayan people in Nepal received special hearing test and hearing aid devices in 2015. Also, with the help of INHUEWD and The Tibet Fund, 19 Tibetans received hearing assessments through Awaz Hearing Center in 2015.

Tibetan Health System Capacity Strengthening Project

This four-year USAID-funded project aims to achieve universal health coverage for Tibetans in South Asia and strengthen the capacity of CTA’s Department of Health in delivering high-quality health services. In 2016, the project completed an extensive assessment of the Tibetan health system and created a five-year road map for the Department of Health, focusing in particular on TB care and management, maternal and child health, preventive health education, community outreach, optimal service models, new adolescent health program, and health information systems. In 2017, the CTA’s Tibetan Medicare System, a community health insurance scheme, saw a total enrollment of 24,155 members.

eggNutritional Supplement Program

Many Tibetan schools in exile lack resources to provide a balanced and healthy diet for their students which are critical for their overall physical and mental health. Each year, The Tibet Fund supports Nutritional Supplement Program for Tibetan students enrolled in schools administered by the CTA’s Department of Education. Beginning 2010, we have contributed a total of $255,000 with the support from Ann M. Down and Hershey Family Foundation for supplemental nutrition to 23 Tibetan schools. Supplementary diets include fruits, eggs and vegetables.

Tuberculosis Prevention and Control

TB awareness programTibetans in exile have one of the highest rates of TB which is caused due to poverty, overcrowding, malnutrition, and low levels of TB awareness. With the funding support from the US government, The Tibet Fund continues to support the works of the CTA’s Department of Health to eliminate TB menace from the Tibetan community. Another important initiative has been the Zero TB in Tibetan Kids Project (a joint initiative between Delek Hospital in Dharamsala and Dr. Kunchok Dorjee and Dr. Dick Chaisson from John Hopkins University) to control TB amongst the student population. TB screenings, community awareness campaigns, preventive therapy, and financial supports are some of the major activities undertaken to control TB. In 2016 alone,

Hep B vaccination program

  • 9,944 students from 20 schools in India and Nepal and 85 nuns from Bakhang Nunnery benefited from TB screenings conducted by the CTA’s Department of Health. 251 students of Lower TCV School benefited from TB screenings conducted under Zero TB initiative.
  • 271 TB patients received financial support to cover the cost of short course chemotherapy.
  • 55 patients received Multi-Drug Resistance TB treatment.
  • 225 TB patients benefited from nutritious meal supplements in the form of milk, eggs, and fruits.
  • 89 patients with first-line TB drugs and 35 with second-ling TB drugs were provided with subsidies.
  • Nearly 10,000 Tibetans benefited from TB prevention awareness talks in settlements, schools, monasteries, and nunneries.

Free Eye Camp

DSC01825With the support from Gere Foundation and Eye Surgery Fund, The Tibet Fund has facilitated free eye screening and surgery camps for Tibetans at some of the poorest and remotest Tibetan settlements in India. Many elderly patients are unable to travel to city hospitals and afford the costly treatments. There is also lack of ophthalmologists in the Tibetan settlements making it harder for the elderly and poor Tibetans to seek eye care. Mostly conducted through the CTA’s Department of Education, these camps have benefited hundreds of Tibetans with preliminary vision tests, sight restoring operations, pterygium surgery, and other appropriate treatments.

Support for Infrastructure and Healthcare Services in Tibetan Hospitals

tserok clinic


The Tibet Fund has supported Tibetan hospitals to strengthen their existing healthcare infrastructure and expand their outreach capabilities to especially serve the most underserved, geographically remote and disadvantaged sections of the Tibetan community. Some program highlights in this area are:

xray machine3


  • The Tibet Fund has provided significant support to Delek Hospital, one of the largest hospitals in the exile Tibetan community, in receiving funds from various donors. The funds support general operating costs, TB prevention campaign and improving nutrition of hospital patient meals.
  • In addition to organizing US tour for Tibetan doctors, we also made a grant of $55,000 to Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute Research and Development including construction of a new in-patient ward and free distribution of Tibetan medicine to the handicapped and infirm in the settlements.
  • With a grant of $24,526, we supported the construction of a public health clinic and staff quarters in Miao Tibetan settlement in Arunachal Pradesh
  • A new mobile X-ray machine and necessary equipments were donated to the Care and Fair Clinic in Kathmandu.

Sanitation Improvements

With PRM funding and private donations, The Tibet Fund supported construction and renovation of toilets in India and Nepal benefitting thousands of Tibetans who previously did not have adequate access to clean toilet facilities. Program highlights in this area are:

  • In 1988, we provided $30,411 to the CTA’s Department of Health to construct a public toilet complex near Tsuglag Khang Temple in Dharamsala. The toilet complex helped alleviate the severe sanitation problems in Dharamsala caused due to lack of public toilets and influx of thousands of visitors to the area especially when His Holiness the Dalai Lama gives religious teachings.
  • Canadian World Youth Organization supported waste management awareness campaign and also placed independent waste management infrastructure in three Tibetan settlements of Bir.
  • In India, 147 toilets and bathrooms were built including 50 in the remote settlements of Ladakh, 68 in Tuting settlement, 12 in Kamrao settlement, 8 near the community hall in Hunsur Rabgayling settlement, and 9 near the main temple in Kollegal Dhondenling settlement.
  • In Nepal, 167 toilets and washrooms were constructed or renovated, including 132 in Jampaling, Paljorling and Tashigang settlements.

Ngoenga School of Disabled Tibetan Children

The Ngoenga School, the first and only school of its kind, was built specifically for Tibetan children with disabilities ranging from autism, dyslexia, epilepsy, polio, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy. Built in 2000 at the urging of and with initial funding from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the children receive classroom education, vocational training and physical therapy in an atmosphere that is designed to help them develop to their fullest capacity. Apart from supporting the construction of this school including building a wheel-chair safe and accessible footpath for the children, we continue to support 40-60 children through financial support from our sponsorship program over the years.

You can sponsor a child by donating $30 per month or $360 per year. You will receive a case history and photograph of the child and, if you wish, regular correspondence from the child you support as well as progress reports from the school. Funds are urgently needed for operating costs of the school. You may make a general donation in any amount for the general benefit of the school or other Tibetan children. If you would like to sponsor Tibetan children with Special Needs, please click here

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