To gain a better understanding of the areas and people we serve, Tibetan Healing Fund with the guidance of Dr. Kunchok Gyaltsen conducted a community health assessment. This assessment, Socioeconomic Status and Maternal and Child Health in Rural Tibetan Villages was initiated by the Tibetan Healing Fund to provide a basis on which to design and evaluate health, nutrition and social development projects.
The goal was to provide information on the lives and health status of rural Tibetans in mSo-Ngon Province (Chinese: Qinghai) which can be used to design, evaluate and expand health, nutrition and social development programs to improve the lives of the Tibetan population. The report provides a broad overview of the socio-demographic characteristics, the health-related environment (drinking water, sanitation, hygiene, the availability of health care providers), children's health, women’s health, fertility, and health-related practices (breastfeeding and immunization).
The results show that 96% of women give birth at home. 95% delivered without the assistance of a trained health personnel. 1% of respondents indicated that a Village Health Worker was present at delivery and only 4% delivered at a township or county hospital. Of the 279 women surveyed, 0% (none) of the women knew or heard of Hepatitis B, STIs, HIV and AIDS. And none of the women know how these infections are contracted or what they could do to protect themselves against the infections. One out of the 279 women said she knew about TB.
In the study population, half of the adult and almost all of the children have attended school at some point. Adults who did attend school completed an average of 5 years and children completed an average of 4 years. While 70% of the children ages 6 to 17 can read and write in Tibetan, only 45% of adults can. Literacy in Chinese is considerably lower: only 34% of children and 13% of adults could read and write in Chinese.