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Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Saturday, 18 March 2017 00:00

2017 TIMA Conference – Serving with Compassion

Written by  Chew Chiau Ping & Joyce Ng Kim Lean / KL & Selangor

The second day of 2017 TIMA Conference continued with a more insightful programme for the participants. [Photograph by Chan Tuck Meng]

The second day of 2017 TIMA Conference continued with a more insightful programme for the participants. It started with a panel discussion on health promoting hospital, followed by sharing on Tzu Chi’s relief work, and a touching story which demonstrates the Great Love of Tzu Chi.


The second day of TIMA Conference opened with a panel discussion on the topic, “Health Promoting Hospital (HPH)”, moderated by Dr Lin Chin-Lon along with three panellists – Dr Lin Ming Nan, Ms Gladys Wong and Ms Faye Ferrer.

In his opening speech, Dr Lin shared that for the past 20 to 30 years, the role of hospital has evolved from medical care to health promotion. As climate change worsens, many have come to realize the negative impact of hospital practices on our environment. Therefore, a Health Promoting Hospital (HPH) goes beyond its clinical services to promote a total healthcare service shared among individuals, health professionals and communities.

The first panellist, Dr Lin Ming Nan, Vice Superintendent of Dalin Tzu Chi General Hospital, enlightened the audience with the approach and strategies in health promotion, which have to start from the hospital itself. By changing the mindset of medical staff, they could in turn improve the health of their patients. Therefore, Dalin Tzu Chi General Hospital, which is a strong advocate of HPH since 2005, has created a supportive environment backed by a team of HPH committee in rolling out a wide range of activities for their staff and patients. There were physical fitness test for staff, health promoting teams, Da Ai farm, and community outreach programme, to name a few.

Thanks to Dr Lin’s sharing, the audience was able to see a hospital in a different light, one that goes beyond its traditional role of attending to the physical and mental wellbeing of their patients, staff and the wider communities.

Ms Gladys Wong, Chief Dietitian at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH), Singapore, then took to the stage to share about their journey on HPH. Being the first HPH member in Singapore, KTPH was known for their healing and green environment. They have extended the concept of 4Rs (i.e., Reduce, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) to another 3Rs, namely Recover, Re-gift and Repair. Besides, a unique learning and sharing culture in KTPH has empowered every individual staff to be a health advocate. Their nutritional initiatives not only warranted the health of staff and patients, but also contributed towards environmental protection through sustainable diet.

That led the audience to the next sharing by Ms Faye Ferrer from Global Green and Healthy Hospital (GGHH) – Healthcare without Harm (Asia). Although hospital is pivotal in the healthcare system, its carbon footprints are detrimental to our environment. Therefore, the 88-member strong GGHH community offers a platform for hospitals, health systems and health organizations around the world to connect, learn, and collaborate toward reducing the environmental footprint of the health sector. She concluded her sharing with the quote “healthy planet equals healthy people”, which resonated with the audience.

2014 Malaysia East Coast flood relief

Known as one of the worst floods to hit Malaysia, the 2014 East Coast flood is still fresh in everyone’s mind. Three TIMA volunteers from Tzu Chi KL & Selangor and Penang went on stage to recount their fair share of memory about the disaster. When Dr Zazali Md Yatim and his wife, Dr Zarina Awang, went to Temerloh to survey the disaster site, they were surprised to find Tzu Chi, a Buddhist NGO helping out the local villagers who are mainly Muslims. Amazed with Tzu Chi’s way of relief, the couple decided to join the ranks of Tzu Chi, and have been to numerous medical outreaches, both locally and globally, ever since.

As an Associate Professor in Lincoln University College (LUC), Dr Zarina was keen to instil a similar compassion in her students. Her wish was finally brought to fruition when LUC and Tzu Chi undertook several joint projects, giving the students early exposure to clinical practice, while instilling Tzu Chi’s Great Love in them.

The third presenter, Dr Tang Kiat Beng then educated the participants on the key concepts of Tzu Chi’s Disaster Relief, which revolved around five principles (i.e., timeliness, directness, priority, respect and practicality), three time-frames (short, medium and long-term), and three relief targets (comforting mind, body and life). Such relief programmes have transcended boundaries, race, religion and language.
    
Love transcends all boundaries and religions

The next sharing by Madam Umi Waheeda, Dean of Yayasan Al-Ashriyyah Nurul Iman Islamic Boarding School, was the perfect manifestation of Tzu Chi’s Great Love. She and her late husband started the school for orphans and homeless children, giving them free education from pre-school to tertiary level, food, lodging, and so on. When her husband’s sudden demise left her with some 23,000 students to care for, she was utterly helpless and devastated. Therefore, the timely relief from Tzu Chi had brought hope to her and the students.

From agricultural training, education and medical care, to offering various expert consultations in entrepreneurship and business, Tzu Chi has helped the school in every possible way to get them to be independent and sustainable. With still 15,000 orphaned students to-date, Madam Umi felt indebted to Tzu Chi’s help and love.

She concluded with a quote, “An educator and entrepreneur will produce an honest leader with integrity.” That was her hope for the children in school.

International disaster relief

The two prominent speakers, Mr Alfredo Li and Mr Michael Siao, informed that when a disaster struck, Tzu Chi’s disaster relief team would be deployed to assess humanitarian needs, organize relief distribution and provide temporary shelter, as well as, mobilize relief supplies ranging from eco-blankets to cooking items, and launch the cash-for-work programme.

During a disaster, drought, famine and disease occur. Therefore, long-term rebuilding efforts are often costly. However, Master Cheng Yen commented that the best way to help devastated victims is to give financial and emotional support. Also, in times of disaster, children live in poverty, and they need immediate help to recover physically, emotionally and spiritually.

The speakers cited their relief efforts in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan and other disasters to highlight the implementation of Tzu Chi’s disaster relief concept, which emphasizes on providing humanitarian aid with “directness, priority, respect, practicality and timeliness”.

 

Dr Lin Ming Nan, Vice Superintendent of Dalin Tzu Chi General Hospital, Taiwan, enlightened the audience with the approach and strategies in health promotion. [Photograph by Ong Boon Hock]   The speakers’ humour made the audience laugh from their hearts.  [Photograph by Ong Boon Hock]

Dr Lin Ming Nan, Vice Superintendent of Dalin Tzu Chi General Hospital, Taiwan, enlightened the audience with the approach and strategies in health promotion. [Photograph by Ong Boon Hock]
 
The speakers’ humour made the audience laugh from their hearts. [Photograph by Ong Boon Hock]
 
The emcee (2nd right) hosted a sharing by Assoc Prof Dr Zarina (1st left), Dr Zazali (2nd left) and Dr Tang Kiat Beng (1st right) on Tzu Chi’s disaster relief work in Malaysia, particularly during the 2014 East Coast flood. [Photograph by Lai Jih Chuan]   Volunteer Michael Siao from the Philippines shared with the audience Tzu Chi’s cash-for-work programme in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. [Photograph by Lim Kar Guan]

The emcee (2nd right) hosted a sharing by Assoc Prof Dr Zarina (1st left), Dr Zazali (2nd left) and Dr Tang Kiat Beng (1st right) on Tzu Chi’s disaster relief work in Malaysia, particularly during the 2014 East Coast flood. [Photograph by Lai Jih Chuan]
 
 
Volunteer Michael Siao from the Philippines shared with the audience Tzu Chi’s cash-for-work programme in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. [Photograph by Lim Kar Guan]
 
Madam Umi Waheeda, Dean of Yayasan Al-Ashriyyah Nurul Iman Islamic Boarding School, thanked Tzu Chi for the practical help and support, which has enabled the school to be self-sufficient and sustainable. [Photograph by Lai Jih Chuan]   Alfredo Li, Deputy CEO of Tzu Chi Philippines, shared about Tzu Chi’s disaster relief work and ideologies. [Photograph by Lim Chin Tong]

Madam Umi Waheeda, Dean of Yayasan Al-Ashriyyah Nurul Iman Islamic Boarding School, thanked Tzu Chi for the practical help and support, which has enabled the school to be self-sufficient and sustainable. [Photograph by Lai Jih Chuan]
 
 
Alfredo Li, Deputy CEO of Tzu Chi Philippines, shared about Tzu Chi’s disaster relief work and ideologies. [Photograph by Lim Chin Tong]