Wednesday, Oct 23

Tzu Chi brings medical assistance to fire survivors

December 28, 2017 | Erin Uy

Residents of the fire that gutted a residential block on the evening of December 27 flock to Tzu Chi’s free medical clinic on-site. Two attending TIMA doctors, as well as a group of volunteers from the Great Love campus in Sta. Mesa, offer their services to heal the affected residents of their ailments.【Photo by Erin Uy】

Story Highlights

  • Tzu Chi volunteers set up a free medical clinic at NIA road in Quezon City to address the medical needs of fire survivors. The medical clinic takes place December 28, one day after the fire that gutted a residential block to the ground.

  • Various medical ailments were brought to the attending doctors’ attention; and were given treatment along with free prescribed medicines.

  • An emergency case brought from an injury sustained while cleaning out debris from the fire site was brought to the attending doctors’ attention, and given immediate aid.


During the fire relief conducted on December 28 at NIA road in Quezon City, Tzu Chi volunteers also held a free medical clinic to service the families who were ailing from various ailments caused by the fire that had taken place on December 27.

Two TIMA doctors, as well as a contingent of Tzu Chi volunteers from the eye & dental clinic located at the Tzu Chi Great Love Campus in Sta. Mesa pitched in effort to bring medical relief to the ailing at the fire site.

Majority of the affected families that sought treatment had ailments ranging from coughs, colds, as well as minor injuries sustained while evacuating from the fire site. Worried mothers also fell in line to get their children checked up; as well as elderly residents who’d needed medication for their high blood pressure.

One of the worried parents who’d lined up to have her children get a free check-up is Leovina Arabia.

“I came here to have my two children consulted, specifically with the pock marks that have been appearing on their hands. The marks have been there for some time now; I haven’t been able to get them checked up at a doctor until today,” she shares.

Her two daughters, Mikhaela (5) and Michelle (11), have benefitted from a free pediatrics check-up at the site. Upon examination, it was revealed that the pock marks on her children were rashes caused by general hygienic behavior due to dirty clothing.

Subsequently, she was advised to have her children take a bath and change out of their clothing into sleepwear, to prevent the recurrence of the rashes. She was also given medicine from the pharmacy to help relieve her children’s rashes.

“Thank you (Tzu Chi) for coming out here today to not just help us with hot food and clean-up efforts, but for the free medical services as well. I’m glad that my children’s rashes will be cleared up thanks to the medicine that I’ve received for them,” she adds.

Immediate relief

During the routine check-up conducted at the site, an emergency case was brought to the attending doctors’ attention. Gemma Jacob had been helping a neighbor clean up the debris over where their house used to stand when she was brought to the medical station due to a deep cut she’d received on the palm of her hand.

Tzu Chi volunteer personnel swooped in to help, immediately disinfecting the wound and bathing it in Betadine, before wrapping it up in a tight gauze.

Despite the initial discomfort she’d experienced while her injury was being treated, she didn’t mind the pain, and was thankful for the immediate aid that was given to her.

“I want to say ‘thank you’ to your (Tzu Chi’s) medical team for immediately treating my injury; and that they (the doctor who treated me) were able to relieve the pain I was experiencing,” she shares.

She had also been given prescription medicine as well as disinfectant so that she would be able to clean the wound on her own, and was advised against wetting the injured area.

“I want to say ‘thank you, thank you very much’ to the Tzu Chi foundation (in general); it’s nice to know that there are people out there who don’t turn a blind eye to those who are in need, like ourselves,” she adds.

  • Tzu Chi volunteers unload the medical supplies from a truck as they prepare to set up the medical assistance booth at the fire site.【Photo by Caroline Uy】

  • Tzu Chi volunteers begin to set up the tent which will house the medical booths for treating affected patients on-site.【Photo by Caroline Uy】

  • Tzu Chi volunteers secure the roof of the tent in place before moving it into position.【Photo by Erin Uy】

  • Leovina Arabia (right) describes to the attending Tzu Chi volunteer her children’s ailments. She is one of the many residents who availed of free check-up and prescribed medicines on the fire site.【Photo by Erin Uy】

  • A worried father gets his child checked up at the free medical clinic held by Tzu chi at the fire site. Ranging from children, to the elderly, two TIMA doctors attend to each patient’s needs.【Photo by Caroline Uy】

  • Prior to check-up, patients undergo a simple blood pressure test before proceeding to one of two attending doctors at the medical clinic.【Photo by Erin Uy】

  • A mother watches over her child as the young patient gets medical attention.【Photo by Erin Uy】

  • An elderly patient receives treatment from one of the attending doctors at the free medical clinic.【Photo by Caroline Uy】

  • Leovina Arabia listens to the doctor’s advice as she learns about the cause of her children’s hand rashes.【Photo by Erin Uy】

  • The attending doctor then prescribes medicines, as well as potential follow-up treatment to the listening mother.【Photo by Erin Uy】

  • Gemma Jacob resists the urge to cry out in pain as the wound on her right hand is disinfected with water.【Photo by Erin Uy】

  • After disinfecting her wound with water, Gemma Jacob receives first-aid treatment from an attending doctor, who then proceeds to clean the wound and prepare it for dressing.【Photo by Erin Uy】

  • Gemma Jacob’s wound is then sterilized and wrapped up with gauze to keep infection away from the injured area.【Photo by Erin Uy】

  • The attending doctor then prescribes the needed medicine that Gemma needs. Due to the depth of the cut she sustained, she is also advised to see a doctor in the hospital.【Photo by Erin Uy】

  • Patients proceed to pick up their prescribed medicines for free at the on-site pharmacy.【Photo by Caroline Uy】