Tzu Chi Volunteers Send Medical Teams to Honduras for the First Time

TIMA  |  January 11, 2019

When Tzu Chi volunteer Jorge Chang saw that most all other countries were being served by some form of medical outreach but that Honduras had none, he knew something had to change.

The disadvantaged in Honduras literally had no access to health care, and Chang was then on a mission to turn that around. The people of Honduras needed help and he wanted to help them receive it.

“So, I started talking to Tzu Chi’s US volunteers about doing it here,” he says.

Dr. Stephen Denq, a TIMA volunteer, was part of the first clinic to go to Honduras to see patients. He was concerned that there would not be enough doctors to see all the patients needing attention. The first visit was a bit overwhelming, especially since there were no local pharmacists. Dr. Denq had to also step in and work in the pharmacy to help the many patients.

In the first day, the medical volunteers served 846 patients based on the pharmacy prescription. The second day was a half day, and they served 224.

Considering this is the very, very first time that we've done a medical missions in Honduras—and it’s not just us, it’s new for the doctors, it’s new for the entire volunteering team—I think it was a job well done.

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Filled with compassion and the desire to give back by providing care for the first time in Honduras, the dedicated volunteers worked very hard. They showed how much they want to learn in order to provide medical care for the residents and to continue that help into the future. According to Steven Voon, executive vice president of Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, those volunteers have the sincerity that is needed to make it happen.

Tzu Chi volunteers worked alongside Honduran doctors and were grateful to help those disadvantaged residents who don’t have the resources to receive adequate medical care or their medication.

By working with Tzu Chi, local doctors are then better able to bring aid to the Honduran patients as well as establish relationships with them, including women, children and the elderly. This will help them to create TIMA of Honduras and give it the push it needs for continued medical outreach.

It is an invaluable experience to see these children, to see these people, and to bring them a little care, help and love. This experience is very nice.