Ven. Rinpoche paid a visit to the local district office in the morning. He was received by the governor along with her staff at District 9. The Governor thanked Ven. Rinpoche and Asral Charity for their many years of continuous help and support for the poor people, especially the women and children who are struggling to survive. She gave a brief presentation of the situation of the local district and outlined some of the problems and challenges they are facing. There are almost 6,000 people living in this district and she told Ven. Rinpoche that the people’s health is gradually improving. Ven. Rinpoche gave an overview of the work that he does and thanked the governor for her support and collaboration over the past years. Ven. Rinpoche hopes this cooperation will continue into the future.

Some images from today’s visit: [click on image to enlarge]

Later Ven. Rinpoche was invited to the local clinic in District 9 after the meeting with the district governor. He was received by Dr Burmaa, her staff, patients and many other local people. Dr Burmaa used to look after the people from District 9 and District 21. Now both districts are separated and come under separate district authority. Previously she was responsible to look after 11,000 people when the two districts were grouped together, but now she is responsible for only 6,000 people in district 9. The newly appointed doctor of District 21 was also present at the meeting. He was also introduced to Ven. Rinpoche. After the inauguration of the testing machines in the laboratory of the clinic by Ven. Rinpoche last year, the staff can now perform 9 different tests. Asral Charity and the local clinic have worked together for many years to promote health and safety. They have organised many presentations and workshops at Asral’s centre to promote the importance living a healthy and hygienic life to the people. Ven. Rinpoche requested them to continue to promote and educate the local people on health and safely. Ven. Rinpoche will continue to support the clinic to help the poorer people also. Dr Burmaa spoke about the financial difficulties the clinic is facing. Government funding is barely able to cover the salary and the daily expenses of the clinic.

Dr Burmaa had a woman in her company who is in great need of help. She was suffering severely from liver complications and was awaiting a liver transplant. She will need total of 80 million tugriks (the equivalent of approximately €35,000). They need to pay almost half of the total amount in advance. Her children are willing to donate their own kidneys to cover some of the expenses. Ven. Rinpoche said that he will try to get donations to contribute towards her treatment. Dr Burmaa also said that many people got sick during the last winter. They did their best and were able to cure most of them but a few people didn’t survive. Some of the people have brain tumours and stomach cancer. The most common illness is hepatitis B. They have medication for hepatitis B at the clinic. However there isn’t any medication for hepatitis C at their clinic. The government also provides some support for these hepatitis patients.

Ven. Rinpoche told Dr. Burmaa that he will keep supporting the people who are sick and poor. Ven. Rinpoche gave a blessing to the staff and the patients in the clinic. He distributed toys and sweets to all the children at the clinic. The children were very happy to receive the gifts. The toys that were distributed to the children were hand-knitted by an elderly woman in Ireland who sent them with Ven. Rinpoche as gifts for the Mongolian children.

Dr. Burmaa thanked Ven. Rinpoche for his continuous support and help for the last years which has greatly benefited many people, especially the children and elderly.

Ven. Rinpoche also visited two families of patients with serious illness who have difficulty in paying for their medication. The first was a baby who was only 1 month and 15 days old. She was suffering from blood pressure in her brain. She was very weak and sick all the time. The doctors were giving injections to boost her immune system. Five days’ worth of medication cost her family about 60,000 Tugriks, which is the equivalent of approximately €25. The family is very poor and they are all unemployed at the moment. Ven. Rinpoche asked her parents to be very careful in taking care of her and to carefully follow the instructions of the doctors. He distributed substantial medication for the baby and also gave blessings to each and every member of the family and listened to their sorrows.

The second was an elderly woman of 75 years. She was suffering from severe high blood pressure and frequent pain in her heart. She was living in a ger (a Mongolian tent) with her daughters and many grandchildren. She used to live in the countryside as a nomad but she had to leave to get treatment in the city. Her family is also very poor and most of the children are unemployed. Ven. Rinpoche distributed medication for her sickness and gave blessing to her and her family members.