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Home Feature Stories One Year After Earthquake in Nepal Tzu Chi Teaches Hygiene to Earthquake Survivors in Nepal

Tzu Chi Teaches Hygiene to Earthquake Survivors in Nepal

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"Namaste! Namaste! What’s your name?" An 11-year-old girl greeted Tzu Chi volunteers with joy. Using simple words, she wrote: “after the earthquake, I met Tzu Chi people. They came here to give us foldable beds, blankets and provide medical services. I began to know about Tzu Chi. I know it's a charity organization from Taiwan and is led by Master Cheng Yen. She is a good person, a Buddhist and she loves every person in the world …”

The girl explained simply that Maheshwori was the first tent area Tzu Chi began its relief work in her country. On July 25, Tzu Chi held a distribution of goods and provided hygiene education and a free clinic in the Maheshwori tent area. Volunteers focused on teaching the importance of washing hands as a habit in the daily lives of people.

The volunteers also prepared sets of hygiene goods for the residents, including soap, flashlight, batteries, nail clipper, hair oil, toothbrush, toothpaste, electrolyte replenisher powder, comb, water scoop, underwear, diapers, pins, menstrual pads, towels, rope, blanket, bucket and water container.

Education on sanitation

Members of the Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) team from Taiwan, Malaysia and Nepal taught the mothers the importance of hygiene. Dr. Rachita Koirala and Dr. Nirdesh Shakya taught all the earthquake victims about sanitation, including the technique of washing hands properly, how to clean our surroundings, to be healthier and ways to purify water.

Interview with a recipient:
A 76-year-old woman named Bishnu said that she was very happy to receive the hygiene pack provided by Tzu Chi. She was very thankful and happy with the organization.

She said that doctors had taught her the way to wash her hands properly following hygienic procedures. She was also taught how to purify drinking water using a sunlight filtration process and purifying liquids. They also taught her first aid for snake bites, which she thinks is very useful in her life.

Interview with Dr. Prakash Raj Neupane:

Dr. Prakash Raj Neupane, superintendent of Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital, said he was very happy to provide the free medical clinic because he is the core member of TIMA team in Nepal.

He emphasized that each nook and cranny of the city and the village should be kept clean in order to make them free of disease and create a healthy life for everyone. Cleanliness is the only way to get rid of harmful bacteria and viruses. He also suggested that each and everyone should team up in order to help the victims of the natural disaster. He has seen many assistance programs for the victims in his native country; but these programs has been fewer in our country. So each and everyone should have a spirit of helping and organize such programs to help the victims.

Tzu Chi has been able to encourage such social activities that come from the spirit of charity.

Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) Team

There are 12 doctors, seven nurses, three pharmacists, three health assistants and volunteers in health education. They provided free checks for 112 patients at the clinic.

Article by Alina Awal and Bei-Chu Wu