A large number of Bhutanese – both male and female, young and old – are afflicted by a painful disease known as “Migraine”. Having understood the severity of this problem in the country, the Rotary Club of Thimphu embarked on a project to bring in a doctor skilled in the famed art of traditional Chinese healing called “Acupuncture”.
Dr. Yu Huang, a USA-based acupuncturist agreed to travel to Bhutan to administer the treatment, during October of 2016. On arrival, she conducted a 2-weeks long Clinic to treat migraine by acupuncture, at the Traditional Medicine Hospital, Thimphu. The project was a collaborative endeavor between the Rotary Club of Thimphu and the Department of Traditional Medical Services, Ministry of Health.
The project was a huge success! The intensive 2-weeks Clinic treated Royalty, the general public, nuns, monks, students, and all the branches of the armed forces. In total over 1,500 patients were treated, comprised of patients from Thimphu as well as those who had come from different parts of the country. Although the project was primarily aimed at treating migraine, the Clinic treated a myriad of other illnesses – backache, joint pain, epilepsy, and even a case of cerebral palsy. Given the huge success and the popularity of the treatment, the RC Thimphu decided to do a follow-up treatment during this year as well. Dr. Yu readily agreed to come back for a repeat migraine treatment project.
Treatment of Migraine by Acupuncture II – 2017:
Dr. Yu agreed to do a follow up project this year as well. Even better, she managed to convince her famed teacher Dr. Lin to come as well, accompanied by his daughter Ms. Claire who would act as the translator during the treatments.
Preparations began for the arrangements to be made for the second project, scheduled for September-October, 2017. As in the past, this project too would be an endeavor between the Rotary Club of Thimphu and the Department of Traditional Medical Services, Ministry of Health, Royal Government of Bhutan.
A meeting was held between the Rotary Club of Thimphu and the DG of the Department of Traditional Medical Services. In the course of the discussion, it was suggested by the DG that the treatment this time should be conducted at Punakha and Paro so that a larger number of people could benefit. The representatives of the Rotary Club of Thimphu duly accepted the suggestion.
On the USA side, Dr. Yu initiated a fund raising drive to generate funds for the purchase of needles and vitamins and other essential medical equipment. The fund raising was channeled through the Bhutan Foundation, USA – to get the benefit of their tax-exempt status in the US. With the funds, medical equipment and medicines worth US$ 6,792.00 were bought and donated to the Traditional hospital at Thimphu.
On the Bhutan side, the Club submitted a request to the Lhaki Group and the Association of Bhutanese Industries (ABI) for help in meeting the local costs of the project. While the ABI did not respond positively, the Lhaki Group and Jigme Mining committed a sum of Nu.230,000.00 for the project. The money was duly received into the RC Thimphu Projects account at the Bhutan National Bank, Thimphu, well in time before the implementation of the project.
Once the financial aspect of the arrangements was in place, we worked on the timing of the treatment. In consultation with Dr. Yu, it was decided that the Drs. would arrive as follows:
Dr. Yu Huang 27th September, 2017
Dr. Lin & Ms. Clair 12th October, 2017
It was decided that Dr. Yu would start the treatment first at Punakha, as of 29th September 2019. She would then move to Paro on the 11th October in time to receive Dr. Lin, scheduled to arrive Paro on the 12th October 2017. Dr. Lin would start treatment at Paro hospital as of 13th October, 2017.
Dr. Yu arrived on schedule and started the treatment in Punakha as of 29th September 2017. In the meantime, before the arrival of Dr. Lin, we received word through the Royal Medical Coordinator – Dr. Yangchen that some of the Royal Families were keen to receive treatment as well. Thus the treatment schedules were quickly rescheduled – to include Thimphu as the third location, for the treatments. It was decided that Dr. Lin would be located in Thimphu and administer treatment at the Raven House – for the Royalty and at the Traditional Hospital for the general public.
Dr. Lin and his daughter Ms. Claire arrived Bhutan as scheduled: on 12th October 2017.
Dr. Lin started treatment on the 13th September and ended at the close of day on 18th October, 2017
Treatment at Paro by Dr. Yu started on the 12th October, 2017 and ended on the close of day on 17th October, 2017.
Dr. Lin dedicated full afternoon of 18th October, 2017, to train the Dungtshos at the Traditional Hospital.
The following number of patients received treatment from the two doctors:
TOTAL 1,194 Patients
Highlight of the Project:
On the morning of 15th October 2017, Drukgyal Zhipa granted an audience to the two doctors and Ms. Claire, at the Raven House. This is surely the measure of the success and relevance of our project!
A project of this scale cannot be concluded without the help and assistance from a number of people and institutions. Given the huge benefit that can be accrued to a large number of suffering Bhutanese, a number of people and institutions came forward to help conclude this very meaningful humanitarian endeavor. The following deserves mention:
Dr. Lin, Dr. Yu & Ms. Claire, USA
Dr. Rong Sheng Lin, Dr. Yu Huang and Ms. Xin Xin Lin, USA sacrificed tens of thousands of dollars in income, to come to Bhutan to help us do the project for the benefit of the suffering Bhutanese. Many in Bhutan have benefited from their act of bigheartedness. It is not just their kindness, but also the level of their dedication that was evident in the tireless hours they put in every day – to heal the sufferers. This is the second year that Dr. Yu has volunteered. It is hope that all three of these kind-hearted people would come back again to treat many more that remain untreated.
The Rotary Club of Thimphu remains grateful to the team – it is not merely the loss of income – but also many hundreds of hours of treatment that were taken away from their own regular patients at home.
Her Majesty Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Pem Wangchuck:
The Rotary Club of Thimphu remains grateful to Her Majesty, for the provision of accommodation and meals at the Raven House 1, including transportation, to Dr. Lin and Ms. Claire – for the full duration of their stay in Thimphu. Not only were the doctors honored to be hosted at the Raven House, but the Club saved a substantial sum in hotel, meals and conveyance bills.
Lhaki Group and Jigme Mining:
The above Corporations collectively contributed Nu.235,000.00 to meet the local expenses of the project. Without their assurance of financial commitment, the Project would have been a none-starter. This is a sterling example of how responsible corporate houses bring benefit to the less fortunate through their commitment to CSR. This is not the first instance where the Lhaki Group has donated to Rotary cause. The Rotary Club hopes that the Group will continue to support our humanitarian endeavors in the future as well.
Yab Ugyen Dorji and Yoom Thuji Zam:
Yab and Yum provided free accommodation for the doctor, Dungtsho’s and the Club’s official, for the full duration of the treatment at Punakha, starting from 29th September to 10th October, 2017. The Rotary Club appreciates Yab and Yoom for the substantial financial savings that has accrued to the Club, as a result.
Drubchhu Resort, Punakha:
Thanks also go to two sisters – Tshering & Pema of Drubchhu Resort, Punakha for the sumptuous meals they served during the treatment at Punakha.
Tshogpon Droeb Jigme Tshulthrim & Aum Pema:
They provided free accommodation and meals to Dr. Yu, Drungtsho Yuden, including Ms. Dorji Yangmo Hing (Ayok) for the full duration of the treatment at Paro. It is our hope that they will continue to support us in the future as well.
Ms Dorji Yangmo Hing (Ayok):
In the process of seeking treatment at Punakha, she ended up cooking for the treatment team – first at Punakha and then at Paro. Her remarkable culinary skills were hugely appreciated, including her spirit of volunteerism, in one so young.
Dr. Yangchen, JDWNRH:
She competently coordinated the treatment schedule at Thimphu – keeping things well organized and on track. Her skillful liaising between the Traditional Hospital, the RC Thimphu and the Kukhors kept the flow of activities at different locations well on track and without disruption.
Director General, Department of Traditional Medical Services:
The DG was pivotal in the implementation of the project – with meaningful suggestions and direction for the successful conclusion of the project, and also for the allocation of resources at all the three locations of treatment.
Aum Yangchen Choden, Chief Program Officer, DTMS:
For competently facilitating the treatment and ensuring that everything is provided for at the Traditional Hospital in Thimphu where the treatment took place.
Nungpai Menkhang at Punakha, Thimphu and Paro:
For proving the space and the logistical and equipment support for the project. They have been most accommodating. The DHO at Paro was particularly forthcoming and helpful during the entire duration of the treatment at Paro.
the dungtshos at the traditional hospital, thimphu:
Dungtshos Dorji Uden, Tharpala, Ugyen Wangchuk, Dhendup Wangdi – for tirelessly assisting the visiting doctors.
Bhutan Foundation, Washington DC, USA
They managed the on-line funds raised by Dr. Yu for the project. Channeling the funds through Bhutan Foundation helped us save a substantial sum of money, through tax exemption.
Druk Air corporation
Bhutan’s national flag carrier – Druk Air Corporation – has consistently been forthcoming in helping us keep down our freighting costs. They have been kind enough to waive off excess baggage of the visiting doctors. This has been the case in some earlier occasions too. It is our hope that they will continue to provide help in the coming days and in many of our upcoming projects.
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