Pende Clinic (ཕན་བདེ་སྨན་ཁང་།)

Background of Pende Clinic

The Pende Clinic officially opened and began to treat patients on July 13, 2003 in Rongpa Tsha, Ganzi County in Western Sichuan Province to provide heath care to rural villagers. It has since become the primary health care services facility for the entire Rongpa Tsha area.

Mission of Pende Clinic is to provide the best quality and most affordable health services possible to rural Tibetan communities. The clinic does this by improving healthcare standards, providing further training for the Ani menpas, enhancing public health education, empowering and accelerating women in leadership roles, and building stronger, healthier and happier families and communities. 

 Goals of the clinic within next five years are:

* To provide regular weekly or monthly public health and gender-based education in rural communities; raise awareness of the importance of reproductive health and self-care; and to train women to become change agents

* To create employment for local people by sustainably producing traditional herbs based medicines with local resources

* To create a pharmacological production center, to which natural plants and herbs harvested by local residents can be brought for inspection, sorting weighing, packaging and labeling,  to produce high-quality herbal medicines at low cost 

Such a facility would provide a steady market and fair wages to lowly paid herbal gathers; would allow local residents to be trained in pharmacy preparation techniques; and would create other ancillary jobs for local communities. Most important, the residents of this region would have access to quality-controlled herbal medicines at a cost far below those currently bought from pharmacies in other regions.

The Pende Clinic Location: Ronpa Tsha

Ronpa Tsha, in Ganzi County, consists of five townships and approximately 34 villages, with total estimated population of 16,000 or more at average altitude of about 3,500 meters (11,482 feet). 

Ganzi County is one of the poorest counties with marginal socio-economic conditions and a limited educational opportunities. The majority of people in the area are farmers or semi-nomadic. One of the primary income sources is from digging Caterpillar Fungus, ‘yartsa gunbu’ (དབྱར་རྩྭ་དགུན་འབུ)“summer grass, winter worm” or “worm-grass” or sometimes people call it as “Tibetan Gold.”

Local people often climb mountains to seek and dig Caterpillar Fungus to sell to other merchants, who take the fungus back to cities in China to produce expensive medicine or food.  

 In this vast and sparsely populated county, there is a high incidence of diseases often caused by malnutrition and lack of awareness of proper hygiene.  Pende Clinic is designed to meet direct healthcare needs and provide nutritional education and information about proper hygiene.