January 2019 marks the first Tzu Chi medical outreach mission in Ecuador. Medical professionals from various fields united to provide healthcare services to underprivileged Ecuadorian residents and improve their quality of life. From Jan. 10 through Jan. 12, 1,368 Canoa residents and 675 Portoviejo residents received medical care.
According to the National Institute of Statistics and Census, Ecuador has seen an increase in poverty to 24.5% from 21.5%. Extreme poverty has seen an increase to 9% from 7.9%. Poverty stricken communities have limited access to medical care, which results in a high prevalence of malnutrition and health-related complications. To combat these grievances, the Tzu Chi Medical team dedicated time and effort toward providing a wide variety of medical services, including routine check-ups, acupuncture treatments and dental services. These communities’ knowledge of medicinal practices and living standards are enhanced in the process.
Our medical outreach mission will continue into the rest of 2019 in order to ensure a higher level of sustained healthcare in poverty-stricken communities across Ecuador. Tzu Chi medical volunteers will be in Santa Ana and Guayaquil in the following weeks.
Master Cheng Yen recognized that illness often leads to poverty, but charity work only provides a temporary solution to a consistent, systematic issue. With this realization and the support of medical professionals, Tzu Chi started weekly missions to provide healthcare services to those in need. Since then, the TIMA Global Forum has emerged as an annual event where international medical and health experts gather to discuss humanistic approaches to health.
The utilization of humanistic healthcare has aided the world in pursuing and preserving health in rural communities around the world. This year, the 2019 TIMA Global Forum: Enlightened Wellness: Body, Mind, Spirit will feature informative workshops on exciting topics ranging from alternative medical practices to integrated Eastern/Western medicine. The forum will be held from March 29-31 in San Dimas, California.