Tzu Chi’s Idai Relief in Mozambique: Free Medical Services

(Two months after Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique, Tzu Chi prepares for the free clinics to be held in the country.) (Tzu Chi volunteers and medical staff in Taiwan prepare and pack a total of 200 kg of medical supplies.) (Ready and prepared, Tzu Chi’s doctors and volunteers set out on a journey of love.) Doctors, nurses, and volunteers from Doctors, nurses, and volunteers from several countries gather in Mozambique for Tzu Chi’s free clinics. Tzu Chi’s free clinics. It’s my first time seeing patients It’s my first time seeing patients under a mango tree in Africa. under a mango tree in Africa. I think it shows how Tzu Chi tries to overcome all difficulties to serve people in need. overcome all difficulties to serve people in need. For the medical staff, it is challenging to treat patients in very hot weather. it is challenging to treat patients in very hot weather. How’s the free clinic going today? How’s the free clinic going today? Many have headaches, back pain and joint pain. Many locals have high blood pressure, and they know it because they get headaches. and they know it because they get headaches. But, they have no access to medicine because But, they have no access to medicine because hospitals are out of drugs and pharmacies sell them at very high prices that pharmacies sell them at very high prices that they cannot afford. So, they are in a very difficult situation. So, they are in a very difficult situation. In Mozambique, there is severe shortage of medical resources, there is severe shortage of medical resources, especially in the rural areas. In average, three doctors serve 100,000 people. After Cyclone Idai hit, medical centers in the countryside were left in ruins and only stands were set up nearby to offer basic services. only stands were set up nearby to offer basic services. Thank you! After the cyclone disaster, Tzu Chi brought aid to the country, Tzu Chi brought aid to the country, including free clinics for six days offering internal medicine, surgery, OB-GYN, pediatrics, internal medicine, surgery, OB-GYN, pediatrics, dentistry and traditional Chinese medicine. Cyclones Idai and Kenneth not only destroyed houses and crops Cyclones Idai and Kenneth not only destroyed houses and crops but also worsened sanitary conditions. Despite WHO’s immediate distribution of vaccines, a cholera outbreak erupted in northern Mozambique in May 2019, resulting in over 3,000 confirmed cases and even deaths. Puddles of water left by the floods have posed health risks. Survivors dug wells to access water, which is dirty, and drink it directly after letting the impurities settle. drink it directly after letting the impurities settle. You can feel his intestines. His stomach seems bloated. Here, children have very large bellies. Here, children have very large bellies. It’s usually for two reasons: It’s usually for two reasons: parasites and malnutrition. He may feel bloated because of the roundworms. His belly is really big. His belly is really big. Yes, there is much air inside. It sounds quite hollow. For this Tzu Chi doctor visiting from the UK, the local children’s health conditions are very poor. I’m pretty sure he has skin disease. I’m pretty sure he has skin disease. But his condition is not commonly seen in the UK. But his condition is not commonly seen in the UK. See the yellow spots? There is pus underneath. There is pus underneath. If you press them, you can feel some hard lumps, If you press them, you can feel some hard lumps, If you press them, you can feel some hard lumps, which may indicate bacteria growth. So, there is bacteria infection. (Yes.) So, there is bacteria infection. (Yes.) It’s a blessing to be a doctor in the UK. Parents would bring their children to see doctors when their children have minor issues such as blisters. when their children have minor issues such as blisters. Ok, ok, ok. Please follow my instructions. Please follow my instructions. Please follow my instructions. It’s ok, we’ll swap. It’s ok, we’ll swap. Please follow my instructions. We’ll ask each row to move forward We’ll ask each row to move forward when those in the first row are done. when those in the first row are done. There are many patients, but everything is in order. There are many patients, but everything is in order. Our volunteers have done a great job. We have asked the patients to line up in six rows, We have asked the patients to line up in six rows, with each row corresponding to one doctor. This way, the patients will know clearly which doctor they’ll see. This way, the patients will know clearly which doctor they’ll see. This is the dentistry department, just behind the curtains. There are many people waiting outside. There are many people waiting outside. No matter how many patients there are, our doctors will see them all today. Everyone here waits in line patiently. Everyone here waits in line patiently. Everyone here waits in line patiently. How many patients have been treated? (Nearly 300.) How many patients have been treated? (Nearly 300.) How many are still waiting? (More than 100.) How many are still waiting? (More than 100.) Hang in there! We need to extract a decayed tooth. If she hasn’t eaten, ask her to eat a bit to If she hasn’t eaten, ask her to eat a bit to If she hasn’t eaten, ask her to eat a bit to prevent low blood sugar. I’m sterilizing medical tools and instruments I’m sterilizing medical tools and instruments so they can be used again. The tools were used extensively today. How long does the sterilization take? (45 minutes.) How long does the sterilization take? (45 minutes.) It’s the fourth time today. What are the main dental problems? Dental filling and tooth extractions. Dental filling and tooth extractions. It’s quite difficult to extract their teeth. What happened? The boy fell from a tree. He has a fracture and internal bleeding. He has a fracture and internal bleeding. We need to quickly send him to the hospital for radiography. We need to quickly send him to the hospital for radiography. We’ve already called an ambulance. Yes. It’s here. Volunteers quickly responded to this emergency. A foldable table was used as a stretcher to carry the boy. A foldable table was used as a stretcher to carry the boy. A foldable table was used as a stretcher to carry the boy. What’s wrong? This child has had high fever for three days. As high as 39.7 °C (103.5 °F). As high as 39.7 °C (103.5 °F). We need to send the child to our referral hospital for We need to send the child to our referral hospital for immediate treatment. We’re letting the mother know that We’re letting the mother know that this is a very serious situation. Medical resources here are extremely poor. Medical resources here are extremely poor. Almost no one has seen a doctor. Many are seriously ill but cannot be treated. Many are seriously ill but cannot be treated. Some have serious illnesses and they don’t even know. Some have serious illnesses and they don’t even know. Many have AIDS and tuberculosis, Many have AIDS and tuberculosis, Due to the disaster, people’s access to medication has been cut off. people’s access to medication has been cut off. The girl has fever and is very weak. The girl has fever and is very weak. She needs to take an anti-malaria drug. Local volunteers are familiar with malaria and the drug. Local volunteers are familiar with malaria and the drug. Local volunteers are familiar with malaria and the drug. They just don’t have the money to buy it. They just don’t have the money to buy it. We especially prepared this because malaria is common here. We especially prepared this because malaria is common here. We especially prepared this because malaria is common here. This girl has had fever for three days. We gave her this diagnostic test, and it turned out positive. We gave her this diagnostic test, and it turned out positive. We gave her this diagnostic test, and it turned out positive. Drugs to treat malaria differ in different parts of the world. Drugs to treat malaria differ in different parts of the world. Drugs to treat malaria differ in different parts of the world. I’ve been a doctor for over 30 years but it’s my first time treating malaria. As Mozambique’s official language is Portuguese, many medical students have volunteered to help as translators. many medical students have volunteered to help as translators. It’s a good opportunity for them to learn too. You’ve been with this elderly lady for a while. You’ve been with this elderly lady for a while. What’s her condition? She says she’s cold, her feet hurts and She says she’s cold, her feet hurts and she cannot fall asleep at night. It seems she has many illnesses. We’re still trying to learn more. It takes time to communicate. Yes, as we need several translations. She speaks in a local dialect, a volunteer translates her into Portuguese and a medical student translates it into English for me. So, you need several translators here. So, you need several translators here. People who didn’t receive an education only speak in dialect. People who didn’t receive an education only speak in dialect. Even local dentists have come to learn. Even local dentists have come to learn. Dr. Hsia, are you teaching him? (Yes.) Dr. Hsia, are you teaching him? (Yes.) He’s standing in the wrong position. You taught him where to stand? Yes, or he could easily extract the wrong tooth. Yes, or he could easily extract the wrong tooth. Yes, or he could easily extract the wrong tooth. They’ve practiced dentistry for five years, They’ve practiced dentistry for five years, but they lack experience. They really care because they receive no salary but They really care because they receive no salary but still serve in the government hospital. A doctor is treating a little girl’s injured hand. A doctor is treating a little girl’s injured hand. In pain and fear, her face is covered in tears. In pain and fear, her face is covered in tears. Stacy, daughter of Tzu Chi volunteers, Stacy, daughter of Tzu Chi volunteers, comforts the little girl. She was crying at first, so I told her to look at me and breathe deeply. so I told her to look at me and breathe deeply. Then, she told me that she felt no more pain. Then, she told me that she felt no more pain. Then, she told me that she felt no more pain. These thin needles that can relieve pain are from the department of traditional Chinese medicine. The locals are amazed at these needles. Some were a bit scared, so we’d comfort them and tell them to breathe deeply before inserting the needle. It hurt a bit when the needle was put in It hurt a bit when the needle was put in It hurt a bit when the needle was put in but they feel much better afterwards. but they feel much better afterwards. So, they are amazed at the effects. Ok. This boy couldn’t lift his arm, but with acupuncture, he could wave at the camera. Even a local official came to try acupuncture. He says it doesn’t hurt at all now. The pain is gone. Ok, good. Having his lower back pain relieved after the treatment, he later brought his mother and wife for acupuncture, he later brought his mother and wife for acupuncture, and said he hopes to send locals to Taiwan to and said he hopes to send locals to Taiwan to learn traditional Chinese medicine. To hold the free clinics of six days that offered nearly 5,000 consultations, the electric generators are indispensable. the electric generators are indispensable. They were especially borrowed for the clinics. Without electricity, medical equipment and lighting cannot work, so we need generators. Since they make noise, we’ve put them out in a corner. Since they make noise, we’ve put them out in a corner. Each generator is different and various issues came up. Tzu Chi volunteers could only find ways to solve them. We had some issues with the voltage. It should be 220V, but it was on 380V. It should be 220V, but it was on 380V. So, our equipment was often burnt out. The volunteers adjusted it again, so we should be resuming our work soon. so we should be resuming our work soon. You are using your cap with solar powered LED lights. You are using your cap with solar powered LED lights. It helps you see clearly. Yes, it’s very helpful. Yes, it’s very helpful. In the aftermath of Cyclone Idai, Mozambique was in dire need of aid. In Tzu Chi’s free clinics, doctors not only put all their skills to use, but also displayed selfless love and great patience. Though Mozambique may be plagued by poverty, diseases and disasters, Though Mozambique may be plagued by poverty, diseases and disasters, doctors and volunteers from around the world doctors and volunteers from around the world have come to give with love and care, bringing light and hope to this land and its people. bringing light and hope to this land and its people.

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