Nail polish healing aid

We’ve been in Kargyak for three months, however, this region in still full of surprises. We were advised that all health complications are treated with yak dung – yak dung as a warm pad, yak dung as a cold pad, yak dung as plaster… A material that is abundant. However, time goes by even in Zanskar, nowadays, nail polish rules. Nail polish with glitters is used for pinches, scratches, burns...

            The school is considered an unofficial “modern” health aid centre in Kargyak. Recently, we treated burns of ten-month Chondon. In this case, we had a chance to treat the injury immediately and thankfully the burn healed without any scars. On the other hand, parents of the fourteen-month boy from the neighbouring village came only after several days, when the burn was festered and covered by blue nail polish with glitters. It took us several days to heal such a burn.

            The real challenge was a boy with a broken hand. In a region with no trees, the most complicated issue was the splint. In the end, we had to use parts of the kite and we sent the boy on the two day journey to Padum to x-ray the hand. However, our splint and handful of painkillers seemed to be sufficient treat and the boy never bothered with any further medical help...

            With respect to these experiences we are currently preparing a first aid workshop for villagers. We hope to limit usage of yak dung and nail polish.

Anna and Liba

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