Gaden Relief Projects

Helping Tibetans preserve their unique culture.


Zadoh Teleconference
January 23, 2004

Attending: Robbie Chase, Candace Cole, Conrad Richter (Coordinator)


The purpose of the meeting was to coordinate plans for the acqusition of medical supplies for the 2004 expedition to Zadoh in July.

Main Points Discussed

1. Candace will proceed immediately with sourcing as many of the drugs on our drug list ( as possible from her hospital pharmacist. The list will be presented to the pharmacist soon (or already has been presented) but a deadline will be set at April 30 to know exactly what we will or won't get. Typically, the drugs sourced through the pharmacist are free of charge.

2. Conrad has already presented the drug list to CanMAP and Novopharm, and to John Rumball's CIMAP. Once we find out what they can supply, we will wait until May to confirm the orders. Both CanMAP and CIMAP charge 10% of the wholesale price for drugs.

3. Conrad and Matt King will take an inventory of the five boxes of drugs donated by Dr. Len Levine on Monday. The list will be forwarded to Candace and Robbie for a decision on what is useful to take.

4. Candace will study the Aventis website ( to see if there are any drugs that could be useful. If so, then Candace will prepare a list which will be forwarded to Rob Stevens to pass on to his friend at Aventis.

5. Conrad will price the non-drug needs at Toronto medical supply houses. Any order for non-drug supplies likely will not need to be confirmed until May or June. We will wait to see if any other sources materialize in the meantime. Unlike drugs, the non-drug supplies should be easy to obtain on short notice.

6. A pressure-cooker sterilizer will be purchased in Beijing. Candace will contact her friend or associate in Beijing who can help locate the hospital supply house in Beijing. A half day will be needed in Beijing to acquire the sterilizer.

7. There was some discussion as to whether the albendazole should be added to the drug list because of the lack of access to laboratory testing. Robbie (and Candace) to decide whether or not to add albendazole to the list. If it is added, Robbie will specify dose and quantity. Robbie suggested that if we do take albendazole, we might take a smaller quantity this time.

8. Robbie is to add wart remover to the drug list, including type, size, and quantity.

9. Anything not obtained elsewhere will be purchased from Medimart in Winnipeg in May-June. From a Medimart quote prepared from much the same list in 2003 shows that drug costs could be very high if bought from Medimart (e.g. ranatidine would cost $2400), so Medimart has to be seen as a supplier of last resort.

10. Robbie can take some items from Toronto to Winnipeg in May, and from Winnipeg to Vancouver.

11. Evan will receive and store drugs and supplies throughout this acquisition period as needed.

12. Candace and Robbie to update Conrad with any information about what is coming or has been ordered so that the druglist2004.html document on the website is always up-to-date. Different people will be referring to the list at various times and it is good to keep that list as current as possible.

13. Travel arrangements will be decided in April. Robbie is not sure about going to Mongolia, so it is not clear who is going with whom at this time.

14. Candace raised the issue of luggage costs from Beijing to Xining. If there is a stop-off in Beijing (either to travel to Mongolia or to visit the hospital supply house) then luggage will not travel at the international weight limits to Xining, but rather at the more restrictive internal weight limits. That could add to the cost of transporting drugs and equipment. Candace described a process of sending goods by freight from Beijing to Xining which was successful last year for ROKPA. This approach may be taken, but this adds to the time needed in Beijing to make the arrangements to pack and ship the goods.

15. Robbie to send Visa bill for hydrochlorothiazide to Conrad.

16. Vancouver Zadoh Committee to look after acquiring public health leaflets and the book Where There Is No Doctor (in Tibetan).*

*Note added, from Evan Zelaschuk, Zadoh Coordinator: "I hope the meeting went well last night. I have received the ten books from India Where There Are No Doctors and have given one to Rinpoche to look at, he likes it and wants to take 3 or 4 copies with them. Another copy we gave to a lama who was here who is from the Zadoh area, to take back with him to his monastery. Rinpoche would like some of these books to go to the monasteries so the monks can read them. We will go through one with Rinpoche while he is here, time permitting, and see if there is anything that we can pull out for a well chart or something like that."

[Minutes prepared by Conrad Richter]