Nine Eastern students and their professors visited Nepal in June 2011 to learn about East Asian public health systems. They visited with local medical practitioners, toured Kathmandu and other cities, and enjoyed the hospitality of the Nepalese people.
Psychology Professor Carlos Escoto; retired Associate Director of Health Services Geeta Pfau, RN, Ph.D.; and computer trainer Barbara Williams accompanied the nine Eastern students on their nine-day visit to the mountainous country of Nepal. Students in the Comparative Health Psychology course learned about the public health care system in Nepal, including alternative/complimentary medicine; health education and preventative medicine; the need for improved maternal health care; and understanding of how the HIV pandemic in India impacts Nepal. The course also included a comparison of Western and Nepalese medicine and a review of the training and technology challenges facing health care in the region. Students also examined the link between spirituality and health and were introduced to Ayurveda, the region’s unique form of holistic alternative medicine. They also visited a shelter for women who have been sold into the sex trade. Most of these women are HIV positive and have been disowned by their families. The trip included a visit to the first psychiatric hospital in Kathmandu and a trip to a children’s orphanage, as well as hiking in Dhulikhel beneath the gaze of the Himalayan Mountains, boating on Lake Fewa, shopping in Pokhara, and a river walk in Bandipur on the way back to Kathmandu.