Caritas Ha Tinh: conduct examinations and distribution of medicines in Khe Ngang parish
Continuing a series of public health activities, on April 10, 2021 the Patient Ministries Subcommittee of Caritas of Ha Tinh Diocese cooperated with the Volunteer Group at Can Loc District General Hospital and Hong Linh Town General Hospital to conduct examinations and distribution of medicines in Khe Ngang parish (Phuc Trach commune, Bo Trach district, Quang Binh province). The delegation, which consisted of 8 doctors in addition to pharmacists and members of the Diocesan Caritas Committee, was chaired by Sister Maria Nguyen Thi Hien, Specialist of the Patient Ministries Subcommittee, and Doctor Nguyen Van Nhue, Specialist, First Class.
The large-scale visit included many modern technologies such as ultrasound, electrocardiograph, and new generation blood pressure monitors. The team consisted of highly-qualified doctors carrying the rank of ‘Specialists, First Class.’ Their professional expertise was matched by a high spirit of service.
The delegation divided clinics into specialized groups to examine patients and prescribe and distribute medicine. After a long but enthusiastic working day marked by a professional and methodical working style, the team saw more than 600 patients, dispensing medication to over 500 of them.
According to Dr. Nguyen Van Nhue, Director of the Department of Emergency Resuscitation of Can Loc District General Hospital and leader of the hospital's Volunteer Group, “the delegation has conducted many examinations before, dispensing medicines and health counseling for many parishes in Ha Tinh diocese under the Caritas program, but this is a larger trip. The participation of so many doctors and pharmacistsis is remarkable. In particular, they joined the delegation with a spirit of selfless service with their love, charity and medical ethics.” Dr. Nhue continued: “Our group has participated in many trips like this with Caritas of Ha Tinh Diocese. We do not have a private purpose, and we treat patients regardless of religion, opinion or any other matter. Our group includes few Catholics, and also members of other religions. We go to parishes and villages for one purpose only: to visit people and advise on health. We are even more happy to work with Caritats to also distribute free medicines to the people. Through this work I see more clearly my professional responsibility.”
In order to join this trip, many of the doctors and pharmacists had to take time off from work, and ask others to cover their responsibilites at home. But they are very active, willing to get up at 4:00 a.m. and travel a distance of nearly 400 km, to take their meals in a hurry, and to work long days. Still, they are always happy and friendly towards patients, always enthusiastic, responsible, and tirelessly dedicated. Especially the women who are very busy with their chaotic work, but always have a bright smile on their faces as they gently advise and guide patients on how to take medicines, how to eat well and how to prevent, control and treat diseases. Dr. Dang Thanh Binh, a sepcialist in ultrasound and imaging, said happily: “I received an invitation to join this trip from Dr. Nguyen Van Nhue while I was doing advanced studies in Hue. Although it was very difficult, I was ready to accept immediately and arrange to participate. Due to the busy schedule, I just came home from Hue last night and at 4 a.m. this morning I was on my way here, really quite tired! But I feel happy, very happy, when I am doing useful things to help others. So many others have helped me... Like most of the brothers and sisters here, I have a full-time job, but we have joined this program several times already. In fact, this is very meaningful work, work that everyone should participate in if they have the opportunity. In my opinion, the work like this or any volunteer work is the essence, the tradition of Vietnamese people in the spirit of the proverb: "healthy leaves protect torn leaves." We need to promote that good tradition and pass it on to the next generation."
After a hard day’s work, the road is nearly 400 km back to Ha Tinh, so we have to get up at 4 a.m. and come back home, but no one in the car feels tired. The whole delegation is very happy, inspired by the feeling that this trip was very successful, very helpful, very meaningful. Sister Maria Nguyen Thi Hien, Chair of the Patient Pastoral Subcommittee, said that “the public health operation of Caritas Ha Tinh is quite robust, with programs such as providing meals for patients at the traditional medicine hospital, dispensing medicine to the community, and visiting and comforting paralysis victims.”
The subcommittee has a team of volunteers and collaborators who are very active, dynamic, and always enthusiastic. What Sister Maria is most happy with is the support and companionship of the doctors, pharmacists and sponsors who always help, whether providing funding or going directly to poor areas. Before disbanding the delegation to go home, Sister Hien expressed her joy and thanked the doctors, pharmacists and all the brothers who joined the trip. Sister Hien said: “I am very happy that our trip has been a great success. Everything went well despite some shortages, limited equipment and medicine.
Our brothers and sisters have made it very fruitful with a high spirit of service. On behalf of Caritas of Ha Tinh Diocese, as well as the people of Khe Ngang parish in particular and other poor rural areas in general, I would like to sincerely thank you and hope that you will continue to accompany us in the future”.
The trip to visit, treat and give medicine to the people of Khe Ngang parish has ended, but its effects definitely linger and spread in the minds of each member of the delegation, every family, and every person involved, relatives and friends.
Dominic Tien Khoi
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