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About this cause

About our cause

What we do

barefoot clinics is a charity that creates free acupuncture clinics in remote, impoverished areas of India and other developing countries. In these regions, there is a severe lack of affordable and available healthcare. What’s needed is a sustainable solution.

barefoot clinics have created one.

We are pioneering the Chinese barefoot doctor tradition into rural India, Nepal and other isolated regions.

How we do it

Firstly, we set up free acupuncture clinics to provide vital healthcare for the local population. Acupuncture is portable, inexpensive, non-perishable and highly effective. And we want as many people as possible to benefit from it.

So we train local people as barefoot acupuncturists. We give our students all the knowledge, skills, tools and equipment needed to run their own clinics. The focus is on empowering locals to provide healthcare within their own communities. While training programmes are underway, local people continue to have access to the free clinics - which are at the same time providing essential clinical training for the students.

With a fundamental understanding of acupuncture and after gaining clinical experience as practitioners, these students eventually go on to become teachers themselves. They can then provide more satellite clinics in remote and impoverished areas.

It’s a simple, practical solution to the problems these communities face.

barefoot clinics have already created 6 free clinics and trained 14 students in its first 18 months. We’re planning on many more.

Why ‘barefoot’?

Traditionally, barefoot doctors were trained in basic medicine and acupuncture to be able to provide vital healthcare for remote villages. They had no previous medical training and many barefoot doctors still worked barefoot in the rice paddies, hence the name.

Barefoot doctors were a major inspiration for the WHO conference in Alma Ata, Kazakhstan in 1978, where it was lauded as a breakthrough in the way healthcare was provided.

Today, the term ‘barefoot’ is generally understood to mean working in basic conditions, usually in isolated and rural areas, without the support structure of hospitals & other medical facilities to hand.

barefoot clinics has developed the model to suit today’s world. Our training is sustainable and replicable and makes a huge difference to the communities we work in.

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Kim Cowling - 1st and 3rd Kilmacolm Guides

Kim Cowling - 1st and 3rd Kilmacolm Guides

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