Thanks to your support, Bodhi Seeds has fulfilled its goals for 2011–2012.
We have been able to stand firmly behind the Tso Jey Medical Clinic and have funded its operational expenses and the salaries for our nurse, physician and custodial staff. Men, women and children can find help at the clinic seven days a week and receive free medication funded by Bodhi Seeds.
We would like to be able to give each monk at Rumtek an annual stipend that enables him to make a trip home to visit family. It’s an important visit for the well being of both the monks and their family. This year, with your help, every monk who needed the support, received it, happy to make the trip home.
Our on-going commitment has also been to the children of the area, funding their tuition for educational expenses. Individual donors have made it possible for several children to obtain full tuition to pursue their educational dreams. There are more children who are requesting help, but we do not at present have sufficient money for their sponsorship.
In 2012-2013, Bodhi Seeds will need your support to enable it to continue to pursue and expand on the goals you have for Rumtek’s health and well being. Rumtek went through a difficult period following the earthquake of 2012. With your help, the clinic services were available to the monks and villagers while the monastery structures were repaired. In 2013, please help us make certain these services can continue and grow to include more preventative health care and health education for monks, and the men, women and children of the villages.
Acharya Tashi visited Rumtek in October 2012. He not only reported that the clinic was running well, but also that the monks, villagers and administration were universally appreciative of your efforts. We finalized plans for an ESL teacher that had been requested by the shedra leadership in 2010. If we can obtain sponsorship for him, our teacher will leave Seattle for Rumtek in March 2013. We will need to raise money for his airfare and a small monthly stipend. Finally, more children need educational support and in 2013; we would like to double the number offered help so that they can pursue their hopes for a better future.
Each of you has a personal relationship with Rumtek. Every monk we speak to, villager we help, child we hold, mother we counsel—it is you that is quite literally there with us. We feel great joy in doing this, and make aspirations that you will join us again in the coming year as you have in the past.
Acharya Tashi Wangchuk
Don Ross, M.D.
Susan Kirchoff, RN, MA
The Nalandabodhi Seattle
Sangha along with many of our Bhutanese and Tibetan friends made momos (dumplings) and delicious foods. It was an event of friendship, good food, and music played by our own sangha members. $2,000 was greatfully received in donations!
Just like the fundraising effort in Vancouver, BC, the momo party was an effort to raise funds to match a challenge grant of $10,000 USD presented by the Raynier Institute & Foundation
. We would like to acknowledge the The Raynier Institute & Foundation for last year's grant of $15,000 toward the building and establishment the medical clinic for Rumtek Monastery and community. Based on the success of the start of the Tso Jey Clinic in Rumtek in 2010 and 2011, The Raynier Institute and Foundation is, again, offering $10,000 with another $10,000 matching amount based on our efforts to raise $10,000.
We so happy to report that we have raised over $5,110 toward our $10,000 goal! Thank you all for your great generosity.
Today we held a formal opening ceremony and officially opened the Rumtek Medical Clinic. Our chief guests were a Sangha MLA and Drupon Rinpoche. Unfortunately Gyaltsab Rinpoche was not able to attend the ceremony as he is stuck in Ralang due to land-slides.
Bodhi Seeds is very pleased to announce that today, June 19, 2011, the Rumtek Medical Clinic opened to the public. With a staff of one doctor and one nurse, we have already made a strong start by treating 35 patients. Thankfully, the Clinic had medication on reserve, leftover from the old temporary clinic, and were thus able to treat everyone who came to the clinic today. We will keep you up-to-date on Clinic news and developments as they unfold. Thank you to everyone who have contributed their time and financial assistance to make this project manifest so rapidly. It has already been of benefit to people who need assistance, and no doubt that over time it will make a great impact on the quality of life for those in the Rumtek area. Please continue to support us in our efforts to bring benefit the Rumtek community.
Thank you to The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche for inspiring and encouraging us to carry out this virtuous activity.
We are pleased to announce that the Clinic construction will start in December! Nima Kara, our "man on the ground" has made a preliminary sketch (seen here).
The clinic itself will have one toilet for the staff and the patients will use the toilet facility downstairs, which will be repaired.
The preliminary cost estimate of the construction is around INR 5,00,000 (Five lakhs).
We are excited to inform you about an inspiring project that Bodhi Seeds (formerly Bodhi Heart) began sponsoring in spring at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim, the seat of the Karmapas. We are in the process of creating a Health Care Clinic that will benefit monastics and lay people, both young and old, men, women and children in need of healthcare. This is a long term project that will take 2-4 years to establish. The clinic has the blessings of the Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and is being coordinated with the administration of Rumtek monastery. The initial part of this project began in spring 2010 with our Exploratory Medical Expedition to Rumtek.
The medical team used its own resources in order to fund this trip, so that all money raised will go directly for medical care. Funds raised will go towards:
- Quality vitamins, ointments, and antibiotics
- Medical equipment, supplies, and laboratory basics
Medications and equipment will be bought in India, in this way we will keep costs down and those who will be using the equipment and medicines will be familiar with those products of local origin.
The medical team has consulted with those who have created medical clinics in Asia and have estimated that the funds needed to set up a basic clinic will be $10,000 U.S. In addition, further funds will be needed to buy medications, supplies and laboratory basics. In all, a total estimate of $14,000 U.S. is needed for the full set up of the healthcare clinic. This clinic will be an on-going Bodhi Seeds project and we will keep you updated on its progress. As mentioned earlier, it will take 2-4 years to establish an ongoing clinic.
Bodhi Seeds also continues to support many Tibetan children by sponsoring their school education, and helping monastics with their studies with such projects as the Library fund which bought 10 computers to further their education. We also recently bought a computer for our Bodhi Seeds administrator in India, to aid in communications between Rumtek and Bodhi Seeds America.
The Medical Clinic is part of the greater vision of Bodhi Seeds to help as many Tibetan refugees at Rumtek as possible. Become a part of this exciting project by giving donating what you can, all funds received go directly to the creation of the medical clinic. As always, thank you for your generosity!!
This recommendation is really the culmination of all the talks that we had with all the interested people at Rumtek Monastery as well as the observations that we were so fortunate to experience when we opened the dispensary in the monastery to see who would come and with what needs. We were grateful to have been able to relieve some of the illness. The monks let us know that they were very happy that plans were in motion to set up a clinic. And, we were very inspired with the intent and energy that was behind the continuation of meeting these goals. OVERALL VIEW OF VISIT TO RUMTEK
March 21, 2010
By Don Ross and Susan Kirchoff
We visited rumtek Monastery between the dates of March 4-22, 2010 to offer assistance in starting a western medical clinic. We saw approximately 60 patients, ages 18 months to 96 years old. In being here during this season, we were not present during the rainy season that brings diarrheal disease or winter with the increase in respiratory illness.
We found that the monks in the late adolescent to middle age appear to be on the whole quite healthy, with the exception of probable GERD or dyspepsia and sinusitis. Older monks, older villagers, and pre-adolescent children and toddlers appear to have a variety of illnesses.
Children suffered with respiratory infections, ear infections, infected abrasions from trauma, high fever, vomiting (measles prodrome), ringworm of the head and body, impetigo, carbuncle, scabies and eye trauma. The youngest village children seem to be in the midst of a measles outbreak. These children had very high fevers, as high as 40.2 C. We could not determine whether children were de-wormed or vaccinated for DPT, polio, Hepatits B, BCG or MRM.
In the older population of monks and villagers, we saw a high prevalence of hypertension. Some were on medication, some were not. In either case, we could not determine whether or not these people had adequate follow up in order to prevent the consequences of hypertension which include stroke and heart disease. Though we saw some cases of very high blood pressure, there were no instances of milgnant hypertension which required immediate treatment. The very elderly villagers varied in well being. We saw one instance of Stage 4 skin ulcer and another who at 96 was alert and ambulatory despite osteoarthritis. The elderly we saw presented withmultiple joint pain, constipation, decreased vision, but on the whole very healthy. One monk presented with congestive heart failure.
Dental disease was prevalent. We saw many with dental caries and several with dental abscesses which required urgent dental intervention.
We understand that there are cases of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis being treated at the monastery, but we did not see these monks and could not ascertain their compliance. Though we expected the prevalence of diabetes to be high, we did not record any patients who had the disease. Similarly, we expected to find anemia, especially amongst the villagers and possibly in the monastic population because of vegetarian diets, but could not ascertain whether this was a problem. We also expected to see thyroid disease, but saw no clinical evidence of this. All of these conclusions are based only on clinical findings as we had nolaboratory and lacked proper instruments. RECOMMENDATIONS CHECK LIST AND SUGGESTED TIME LINE
- Hire a four year degree nurse with at least 5 years of experience and develop the role as described below under Nursing Functions. Suggested completion date: June 1, 2010
- Locate an M.D. to serve in the role of primary care physician to the monastery and the village. The M.D. will visit at least weekly at first, and will establish a medical protocol for the nurse to follow. Suggested completion date: June 1, 2010
- Obtain state recommendations for the vaccination of children and de-worming. This includes: MRM, DPT, DT, Hepatitis B, BCG. Give al children vaccinations. The model for this already exists in the Monastery. Medications for tuberculosis were provided by the state and are given from the dispensary by the nurse. Similarly, it may be possible to extend this model by having the nurse administer vaccinations and de-worming medication and maintaining records per state protocols. Suggested completion date: June 1, 2010
- As teachers have greatest access to children, educate teachers regarding diagnosis and treatment of common skin diseases: lice, ringworm and scabies. Make medication for these diseases readily available via a standing order from the doctor. Suggested completion date: December 1, 2010
- Obtain basic laboratory specimens in the clinic (urine and blood). Coordinate pick-up, delivery and reporting between a specified Gangtok laboratory and the Rumtek doctor of nurse. Suggested completion date: December 1, 2010
- Sponsor dental and eye clinics yearly. Begin January 1, 2011
- Sponsor specialty clinic to address the high prevalence diseases: hypertension and GERD. Begin January 1, 2011
- Include pre-natal care as needed.
- Restock formulary as needed. Suggested date: on-going
- Administers running of the clinic. Reports to the monastery health care director. Schedules clinic hours and follow up, maintains medical records, financial records, inventory of supplies and medications, house-keeping, sanitation. Supervises clinic bookkeeper and house-keeper.
- Clinical work includes: attending physician visits with patients and advocating for the patient’s needs, follow up on all orders and patients that do not keep follow up appointments
- Public health work includes: vaccinations, de-worming, tuberculosis drugs, and following medical protocol for the on-going medication needs of the patient when physician is not in attendance, regular home visits to home bound and others as needed.
- Coordinates with other agencies such as the state and local health departments.
- Organizes monastic and community groups on health education, disease process and prevention.
6. Clinic nurse role can include visit to school for well-child care (weight, height, nutrition, mental and physical assessment)
Hello to all,
Our trip back to USA was slow enough and safe enough to allow a little acclimation. Now that we are here, physically, at least, we can relate more. When we are “caught” up to the mental, it may not be so good. Just kidding.
Here are some pictures of the dispensary in the Rumtek Monastery that is and was the sole source of medical care other than the Tibetan Medical Practice that did its best to provide such a large need over such a long period of time We have great regard for Amji La and the “retired” Nurse, Tashi, who have “held down the fort” in meeting the many immediate and ongoing community health care needs of the people as best they could since 1992. There is much more to say about the overall health care system in India in the area, but I will talk about this later.
Bodhi Heart just received a grant for $15,000 from the Ranier Institute Foundation for the Rumtek Clinic!!! Woohoo! May it bring boundless benefit!
I would say that we have been in a confused but open space, just seeing and hearing and feeling all that is possible.
Now, I can come to some clarity and say that through the work of so many people at many meetings and many cups of tea, a framework seems to be forming. And, we have come to a mental space that allows some giving of western medical attention! It was very interesting this morning when Jay had consented to see an elderly man. The dispensary was locked, but the Tibetan Medicine Doctor Dubje said to come into his office. So, Jay did a Western medical exam with dr. Dubje interpreting. Now, Dr. Dubje will take Jay’s recommendations to a doctor/hospital in Gangtok to get western medical help there. Very interesting working together of the two practices. This is necessary to continue. There are many more stories of interest, to say the least.
Regarding the overall project picture: it has been determined that an old structure that was donated by Rinpoche will be restored and serve as a clinic. This may take 6 months or more to complete. That is a long term goal.
In the short term: the plan is to stock the dispensary in the monastery with supplies and medications, and to hire a M.D. and a nurse to come weekly.
It has taken many meetings and many cups of tea with wonderful people to come to these conclusions. Dr. Jigme(his father served as the physician for the 16th Karmapa) was especially helpful and will help in finding the doctors and nurses that are needed.
This is all I can report for now. We will go to Gangtok tomorrow with Gen. Sec. Chungyalpa to meet with Tashi Densapa and do other research into locating good pharmacies and medical supply houses.
Susan Kirchoff and Don Ross