Tibetans preserve their unique culture.
Zadoh Committee Meeting Toronto
May 21, 2003
Zasep Rinpoche, Conrad Richter, Rob Chase, Candace Cole, Sharon
Gretzinger, Tina Shapiro, Rob Standfield, Dawn Standfield
meeting followed an afternoon Zadoh-ACORN meeting at University
of Guelph (summarized by Candace Cole). The meeting had originally
been planned around the July-August trip to Zadoh/Jamseng, but
the trip had been cancelled due to the SARS-related travel restrictions
in China and other concerns. Therefore, there was no set agenda,
but we discussed the following issues.
has spoken with his brother no SARS in Zadoh but travel
from Chengdu etc is blocked to restrict spread. Dr. Leydar has
been busy with extra duties due to SARS. The Zadoh horse festival
has been postponed until next year. It makes sense to have cancelled
the trip. The monks at Tashi Lapug will be disappointed; they
were awaiting Maha Vairochana initiation from Rinpoche. However,
plans will be to make trip next summer 2004 instead.
that the 2-3 translaters from Rokpa orphanage school may be able
to help next year, but government regulations about their training
have changed and they may be required to do 4 extra years of schooling
in Xining to qualify as medical doctors.
mentioned that he had left $5K for Tashi Lapug construction last
trip; these funds could be used to cover Jamseng Health Centre
costs until 2004 trip: $100 US/ month for doctor, and 3 staff
is the new monk Tibetan medical doctor replacing Dr. Ano (who
died last year) at the clinic. He received permission to leave
the monastery to be at Jamseng clinic. Approximately 20 people
a day come to see the doctor, the availability and reduced cost
of the Tibetan medicines is very much appreciated. Dr Leydar travels
to Jamseng about 3 times a month.
across the river from the clinic has installed a big solar panel
for electricity. An electrical line to the clinic is to be installed
so there will be some electricity, instead of having to install
its own source.
to set up overnight lodging and showers for clinic patients has
changed. There are 4 buildings around a courtyard nearby the clinic
(150m) that may be sold to Jamseng Health Centre at a reduced
rate by the village council. Rinpoche mentioned 40,000 Yuans
$5,500 as a possible purchase price. Advantages are that they
are already built, there will be less congestion within the health
centre compound. They can be renovated for storage (for herbs)
and showers. Another idea would be to open a store/restaurant
kitchen /tea stall to serve the visitor and community, and be
a modest income generating source.
the plans to pipe clean water into the clinic from the spring
up the hill this would go to the adjacent buildings if
purchased as well. Rinpoche has asked his brother to cost out
the project. Also to purchase would be: beds, blankets, pillow,
will be harvesting herbs in the Zadoh area in September with his
medical students. One idea is that the clinic purchase a pill
maker to produce the final product. The main Tibetan hospital
in Zadoh town has one costs 40,000 Yuan (=$5K US).
going to write up some of these details to submit to the Duncan
Rotary club as requested in order to respond to their offer of
donation. She was also going to look into contacting the Beijing
Rotary chapter to explore other funds that may be available.
about the Role of Western Medicine in Zadoh Project Work
We also discussed
the exchange in the Zadoh listserve about concerns that Western
medicine on the project trips was creating dependency. Rinpoche
felt that this was not the case the health of several individuals
with e.g. diabetes and hypertension, etc. had been much improved.
The main focus of the health centre project is to provide traditional
Tibetan medicine to the local community. Other health modalities
e.g. acupuncture, were also useful and, in general, he felt the
approach being taken was a realistic balance based on needs and
opportunities. Opportunities for health education and prevention
through community health initiatives are desirable but complex,
and often difficult to initiate without local demand and dialogue.
These challenges were also highlighted in our discussions with
Nonita Yap at Guelph University.
Didi's observation about the poor hygiene that usually happens
at the time of a delivering a baby. Some focused education about
the use of boiled water and washing could make a difference. Robbie
discussed the common problem of hydatid liver cysts from parasites
contracted from dogs and herd animals via fecal contamination,
and the prospects of local training e.g. taking blood pressure
and managing basic antihypertensive medication. Specific health
conditions and appropriate prevention strategies could be formulated
and brought up in discussions on subsequent trips. Sharon discussed
that the skills and abilities of those volunteering to go to Zadoh
would be much appreciated. This year there were several doctors
going, in the future others with different skills and abilities
might contribute accordingly.
need to settle the controversy. Rinpoche was going to write a
report describing some of the benefits from the project todate.
Others can write essays that improve understanding of the circumstances
in Zadoh area and the rationale for particular project activities,
including western medical doctors providing medications at the
time of field visits. The Vancouver Zadoh committee meeting scheduled
for early May did not happen, but the issue should also be discussed
the next time.