Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

Oct 03rd
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Home Global Activities America Tzu Chi Ships Needed Medical Supplies to Sierra Leone

Tzu Chi Ships Needed Medical Supplies to Sierra Leone

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As a follow up to its commitment to boost the Sierra Leone healthcare system, the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation USA on October 28, 2015 packed a container with 342,000 pairs of latex examination gloves; 24,000 face masks; 7,140 cans of brown rice protein (17.9 ounces per container); 900 eco-blankets; and women clothes. Many volunteers around Southern California participated, joining hands to pack compassionate relief support for Sierra Leone health facilities and people.

The donations came about as a result of an assessment that Tzu Chi conducted in Sierra Leone between July 13 and August 6, 2015. The most requested need by all visited hospitals and clinics was gloves. But in Sierra Leone, as in many other least developed countries, there was no culture of wearing gloves for every patient contact until Ebola struck and availability of that consumable product was and still is scarce. When Tzu Chi founder Master Cheng Yen learned about the problem, Tzu Chi USA was linked with Top Glove Medical USA to solicit donation. Top Glove USA, being a strong and committed partner of Tzu Chi, immediately responded to the call to help the people of Sierra Leone by donating 342,000 pairs of gloves, in hoping to reduce the risk of infection.

The contribution of latex examination gloves to health facilities in Sierra Leone will significantly support that nation in its efforts to achieve post-Ebola recovery goals, especially for infection prevention and control (IPC). When the appropriate medical gloves are not available to health workers in caring for patients with infectious diseases, be it Ebola or other contagious diseases found in Sierra Leone, it makes very difficult for health workers to provide compassionate care to the sick due to fear of getting infected. But the concern is not only limited to patient to health worker infections, it also includes health worker to patient infections and patient to patient infection through health workers. When health workers provide care without gloves, both patients and health workers are at risk of getting infected by carrier. Thus the reason Tzu Chi is shipping hundreds of thousands of latex examination gloves to Sierra Leone.

Nutritious food for patients

Tzu Chi received the brown rice protein donation from AIDP for patients admitted in hospitals and clinics across Sierra Leone. AIDP reported being happy to donate to Tzu Chi such important health nutrition, which will medically help patients’ recovery in Sierra Leone. Tzu Chi will distribute the protein powder to government and faith-based health facilities for patients’ consumption to reduce malnourishment and nutrition deficiency while hospitalized, especially women and children and other vulnerable populations. Approximately 207,060 servings will benefit medical patients in Sierra Leone hospitals and clinics. Tzu Chi will continue to seek the partnership of AIDP to fight undernourishment and malnutrition in Sierra Leone to reduce infant mortality rates, eradicate health recovery complications due to lack of needed nutrition, and build a healthier nation.

Tzu Chi Foundation will continue its humanitarian mission and coordinate the distribution of all donations. Beneficiaries will include government and faith-based health facilities, Ebola female survivors and orphans, amputees, residents of Newton, and other vulnerable populations.

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