Bring Back Smiles: First Medical Mission in Ecuador

National Headquarters  |  January 31, 2019

Solidarity and Strength in Ecuador

Ecuador is one of the poorest nations in Latin America, with 40% of the population living below the poverty line. This results in a high prevalence of malnutrition and other health-related complications. A great number of Ecuadorians needlessly suffer because they have little or no access to equitable healthcare, or do not have the means to pay for care.

Tzu Chi’s first Ecuadorian medical outreach mission set out to combat these grievances of marginalized groups in January of this year and was a great success. From January 10-16, a grand total of 3,973 patients in Canoa, Santa Ana, Portoviejo and Guayaquil were treated with 9,362 medical services over the course of the mission week.

The Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) dedicated time and effort toward providing a wide variety of medical services, including routine check-ups, acupuncture treatments and dental services with the help of international and local medical professionals, all of which are licensed healthcare professionals or certified with experience and medical knowledge. Home visits were provided for those who were unable to attend the events.

At Tzu Chi, we believe in treating the whole person. Our two-fold purpose is to tend to the physical needs of the sick and suffering, and provide spiritual healing through universal love and care. All medical volunteers ensured to take the time to learn about each patient’s life and cater to their individual needs, as well as provide appropriate additional resources when applicable.

Quality medical care and health education is not only a catalyst for economic development, but also for breaking the cycle of poverty. In addition to medical care, community knowledge of medicinal practices and living standards were enhanced throughout the mission, as our volunteers sought to teach through action.

We can always do more to help a world in need. Join us to provide compassion in action. Alleviate pain in those who are suffering and help provide health care for lasting change in underprivileged communities around the world.

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