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Home Global Activities Asia Tzu Chi Holds Medical Clinics, Gives Relief Goods in Indonesia

Tzu Chi Holds Medical Clinics, Gives Relief Goods in Indonesia

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Volunteers of the Tzu Chi Foundation held three free medical clinics and distributed relief goods to residents of Lombok island in Indonesia which has been struck by many earthquakes since July. It was their second recent relief operation on the island.

Lombok island is a popular tourist site in West Nusa Tenggara province of Indonesia. Since the end of July, the island has suffered frequent earthquakes. Residents are feeling very nervous -- they are afraid that already fragile buildings may not stand any more earthquakes. On August 31, a 5.1 quake struck the north-west of the island. The Tzu Chi volunteers decided to hold a second disaster relief operation by providing goods and free medical clinics.

The free clinics were held in three places -- Pamenang, Jelimanireng and Wihara Jaya Wijaya. The distribution of relief goods was held in Sembalun.

One of the free clinics was held in a tent with limited space. To offer the best service to the patients, doctors worked together to adjust their work stations. Two of them voluntarily moved their tables outdoors, in order to give more space to the other doctors. Many patients came to have open wounds treated. Medical personnel carefully cleaned the wounds and applied medicine to prevent infection. More patients came to the clinic than expected. Even medicine cases were used as a table. Pharmacists carefully reminded the patients how to take the medicine.

During the free clinic, an old man walked with a stick; his neighbor brought him to the clinic. After talking with him, volunteers put their ideas together and made a proper walking cane for him. With his new cane, the man smiled at the volunteers. They all felt the joy and thought that his was the most beautiful smile. The volunteers also discovered a group of children near the site. You could see the fear and uneasiness in their eyes. Volunteer Hung Yin-Jung and Dr. Wang Rung-Chiang went to chat with and comfort them. Soon, they were very happy to see the smiles on their faces. At the end of the free clinic, volunteers led everyone there to pray for the world to be free of disasters and for Lombok island to recover from the disaster soon.

In Sembalun, Tzu Chi volunteers prepared distribution of the relief goods. They loaded them into four trucks and traveled for two and half hours to reach the distribution site; on the road, even though it was only ten degree outside, they saw people preferring to stay in tents; they had built a small campfire to keep warm.

In Sembalun, the Indonesian military helped the volunteers to transport the relief goods. The volunteers declared that they did not distinguish between races and religions. “It is very cold. We are here to distribute blankets, sarong and canvas,” said Yang Chang-yao, the leader of the Indonesia disaster relief team. “We will give women and children priority. We hope the relief distribution can really help people to get back to their normal life.”

The village chief, Harmini, expressed his gratitude that Tzu Chi volunteers were willing to provide relief assistance in such a remote area. In his village, no heavy equipment had arrived; people were still using bare hands to clear the rubble. “People are still very frightened,” he said. “They are afraid to go inside. The earthquakes have also affected their jobs.”

The husband of one resident, Inajani, is a farmer. When the earthquake struck, the seven members of their family escaped unharmed. “Thank you, Allah,” she said. “We really need these goods. It’s very difficult to make money here. The goods really help.”

“We had sent a survey team in advance,” said Yang. “Sembalun is located in a remote area with poor transportation. Therefore, they received less help from other charity organizations. Therefore Tzu Chi chose here to conduct its disaster relief distribution.” In the following days, Tzu Chi volunteers will take turns to care for other villages.

Report September 1, 2018 by the second relief team on Lombok island

【News】Tzu Chi in The World

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