Buddhist Tzu Chi group discusses Typhoon Morakot disaster relief at WHO conference

Taiwan News, Apr 28, 2010

Taipei, Taiwan -- A representative of Taiwan's Buddhist Tzu Chi group won a prize at a World Health Organization conference in Great Britain with a report about Typhoon Morakot disaster relief, reports said yesterday.

Lin Chun-lung, the CEO of the Tzu Chi General Hospital group, attended the 18th annual conference of the WHO Collaborating Center for Health Promotion in Hospitals and Health Care on April 15 and 16, the Dalin Tzu Chi General Hospital said. He won the first prize in the category posters and reports.

Four Tzu Chi hospitals, based in Hualien, Taipei, Taichung and Dalin, Chiayi County, were invited to the conference in the city of Manchester and issued 28 reports.

The topic of the meet was the environment, and as a result the Taiwanese group succeeded in winning attention for the plight of the refugees and victims of a disaster like last August's Typhoon Morakot, which caused widespread devastation in Southern Taiwan.

Lin's report discussed Tzu Chi's response in the immediate aftermath of the typhoon, its supply of medicine and food to the homeless and its role in the cleanup. He also detailed the humanitarian group's experience in providing medical assistance to residents of remote areas.

The Dalin hospital president, Chien Sou-hsin, also told the conference how his institution's staff and their relatives used each Sunday to help with recycling.

The WHO body invited Taiwan to take part in an international taskforce to promote environmental issues, while representatives of 30 nations attended an event organized by the Department of Health's Bureau of Health Promotion.

The conference hoped hospitals would do more than just treat patients, but also play a role in reducing pollution and averting climate change.

Outside the venue, Tzu Chi set up a stand where it promoted low-carbon foods, recycled food implements, and carpets, shawls and clothes made out of recycled plastic bottles.