Astarte in India and Nepal
Tibetan Department of Health (TDOH)
Over 135,000 Tibetans live in 54 settlements, mostly in India. Many of these Tibetans came to India and Nepal after disputes over Tibet with China led to an uprising in 1959.
TDOH was awarded a grant to fund a program for comprehensive, culturally acceptable and accessible reproductive health care for Tibetan refugees in South Asia. The project sought to improve and expand the delivery of reproductive health services, including free condoms, HIV/AIDS education, family planning and gender-based violence counseling in all health centers and hospitals.
After the Grant:
TDOH has opened women's centers in 10 settlements. Community health workers continue to be trained to provide counseling services. TDOH continues to staff a reproductive health officer position to coordinate the TDOH's reproductive health efforts. TDOH reports that maternal and infant mortality rates have decreased as Tibetan refugees have grown to understand the importance of family planning and other reproductive health issues, thanks to the health education they have received through this ongoing program.