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Tzu Chi’s medical team off to Nepal for emergency response

Tzu Chi volunteers wait for their flight at the Taoyuan International Airport in Taipei, Taiwan on April 27. A 15-member team of Tzu Chi volunteers, ten of them being medical practitioners, fly to Kathmandu, Nepal to join the ongoing rescue and relief efforts for the victims of the 7.9-magnitude earthquake that hit the country on April 25.  

MANILA, Philippines - A 15-member team of Tzu Chi volunteers, ten of them being medical practitioners, fly to Kathmandu, Nepal today, April 27 to join the ongoing rescue and relief efforts for the victims of the 7.9-magnitude earthquake that hit the country on April 25.

Kathmandu is Nepal’s capital, the most accessible route to the quake’s epicentre in Lamjung district.

Reportedly, local hospitals and medical responders are facing difficulties in treating overflowing number of injured quake victims. Aftershocks continue to rock the surrounding districts, threatening the rise of more casualties. As of latest, more than 2,500 people have been recorded dead.

Led by Dr. Chien Shou-hsin, the superintendent of Tzu Chi’s Taichung General Hospital in Taiwan, the medical and survey team is composed of medical personnel from Tzu Chi’s Taipei General Hospital’s emergency, wound care, surgery, pediatrics, and general medicine departments. Together with them are Tzu Chi volunteers from India, the United States, the Philippines, Thailand, and Malaysia.

On this trip, they are bringing one ton or 1,000 sets of medicines for the quake survivors. They are also carrying over cartons of instant rice as an immediate food for the victims and rescuers.

Upon their arrival, the team will coordinate with the local health department.

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Aside from assisting on medical terms, Tzu Chi’s team will be staying in Nepal to assess the needs of the victims for the Buddhist relief organization to properly carry out disaster response from emergency assistance to mid-term and long-term response.

On Sunday, one day after the quake, Tzu Chi’s headquarters in Hualien, Taiwan has set up a disaster response command center to receive donations and gather volunteers to pack relief goods such as multi-function beds, instant rice, and thermal blankets. These goods will be shipped to the affected regions in Nepal as soon as proper coordination and needs assessment have been made.

 

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