The Drokpa live on the Indian plateaus of the Himalayas. Amchi Sonam Dekey operates a mobile clinic across the Changtang Plateau. Bernard Fontanille, Dekey, and her medical team depart for the plateau; everyone on the team is Tibetan.
The team arrives at the nomadic camp. Dekey and Fontanille speak with the head of the camp and learn about the harsh winter.
The Drokpa live on the land the government imposed on them; goats and sheep provide food and income. Dekey uses moxibustion to treat a man with pain in his hands and arms. In Tibetan medicine, illness occurs when the mind and body are not in balance.
Drokpa drink a tea that increases the risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Dekey examines patients and treats a goat that was bitten by a wolf. Fontanille and the team enjoy a meal with the Drokpa.
The medical team travels to a monastery. Dekey treats a monk with digestion problems and back pain. Buddhism is the third pillar of Tibetan society.
The team makes camp; Fontanille talks to a member about his relationship and connection with the nomads. Dekey treats a woman with dizziness.
Dekey explains why the nomads live on the Changtang Plateau and discusses the bond with the Drokpa. Fontanille joins a dice game before leaving the plateau.
Credits: Ladakh: The Last Nomads—World Medicine
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In 2002, Dr. Dekue established a Tibetan medical team for nomadic livestock farmers in the Ladakh region. The mobile clinic travels across the Changtang Plateau, treating the Drokpa with traditional forms of medicine; Dekey helps connect the nomads to their Tibetan culture. Emergency doctor Bernard Fontanille accompanies the team as they administer treatment at an altitude of over 5,000 meters.
Length: 27 minutes
Copyright date: ©2013
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