Kunde Hospital

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Kunde Hospital, Nepal

Kunde Hospital is a hospital in the town of Kunde, Nepal, that serves 8,000 people from Khumbu district. It is situated 3,840 metres (12,600 ft) above sea level and was founded by Sir Edmund Hillary in 1966. The hospital was funded and operated by The Himalayan Trust until 1976 and is now supported by the Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation.

After Hillary climbed Everest in 1953, he led many further expeditions to Nepal. From the early 1960s, these expeditions had a focus on improving the health and social welfare of the people of Nepal, including the improvement of water supplies, the building of schools, bridges and an airstrip at Lukla, and the provision of medical care and a programme of vaccination against smallpox.

In 1966, Hillary, with overseas volunteers and local people, built the hospital at Kunde. The hospital opened on 18 December 1966, when Dr John McKinnon and Diane McKinnon, of New Zealand, became the first volunteer couple to staff the hospital. The hospital was staffed by overseas volunteers from New Zealand and Canada, provided through the Volunteer Service Abroad organisation and later by The Himalayan Trust and the Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation Canada. Since 2002, it has been wholly staffed and run by local people.