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February 2013: The Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund and the Tibetan Health Services Fund donated US$5,677 (300,000 irs) towards the Tashi Lhunpo Health Care Center. The Tashi Lhunpo Health Care Center is extremely important in providing quality health care since 1992 to the monks of Tashi Lhunpo Monastery and local Tibetans and Indians in the area.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche was very inspired by their work and wanted to make this donation.
We just received this kind message from Tashi Lhunpo Health Care Center regarding how the donation is being used:
“First of all we would like to convey our heartfelt greetings and gratitude for your kind support. Because of your financial support we were able to buy sufficient medicine, and also hepatitis syringes which are very expensive.”
To learn more about this project’s history, mission and future plans please visit the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery’s website.
January 2013: Ven. Roger Kunsang and Frances Howland met with Dr. Ruit to discuss FPMT’s Tibet Heath Services Project and its ongoing aims, as well as reviewing the Amdo Eye Hospital and future plans for possible eye camps.
Due to the situation in the area we are not able to arrange a big scale eye camp at this time, but within a year we hope to be able to arrange this with Dr. Ruit. These eye camps provide up to 500-700 surgeries. The cost to arrange an eye camp of this scale is US$40,000 and we are currently raising funds for this.
In the meantime, the Amdo Eye Hospital is still able to do smaller scale remote eye camps where up to 30-35 eye surgeries are performed every three or four months.
In 2012 the Amdo Eye Hospital was able to perform over 578 eye surgeries and it is envisioned that 2013 will bring much more.
August 2012: The most immediate need of the Amdo Eye Hospital is to purchase a laser surgery machine (Phacoemulsification machine). The cost for one of these machines is US$120,000. FPMT is currently fundraising in order to be able to sponsor one, which will greatly help the hospital’s efficiency and will directly benefit those needing the surgeries.
The phacoemulsification machine breaks the cataract into tiny pieces and then suctions those pieces from the eye through a very small incision. Prior to the development of the phaco machine, the cataract was normally removed in one piece, requiring a larger incision, sutures, and more trauma to the eye. By having the phacoemulsification machine the whole procedure is much faster, less than 15 minutes per eye, and it allows the patient to walk out of the surgical suite and resume normal activities within a few days.
How Can I Make a Donation?
To make a tax-deductible donation:
Or simply send your check in US dollars payable to FPMT Inc. and write “Amdo Eye Hospital” on the memo line.
1632 SE 11th Avenue
Portland, OR 97214-4702
The Amdo Eye Hospital is a project of FPMT Inc. and is administered by FPMT International Office located in Portland, Oregon, United States. All donations made to this fund are tax-deductible within the United States in accordance with IRS Code article 501(c)(3) to the extent allowed by law.
For more information please contact: Holly Ansett, Charitable Projects Coordinator.
August 2011: Ven. Pemba Sherpa (FPMT board member, resident teacher and co-director of Cham Tse Ling, in Hong Kong) visited the Amdo Eye Hospital to report on its progress and operations.
Currently there are 24 people working in the hospital, including four doctors and four nurses who visit from the local government hospital a few times a week to perform the actual surgeries. The hospital is three and half stories high and has 36 beds to accommodate patients.
The full price for cataract surgery is about US$750 (4800 CNY), however for patients who cannot afford this, the surgery is offered for free or whatever amount they can manage. At this stage it is not possible to run the hospital totally free of charge, but the plan is to be able to offer more free or low cost surgeries, as the hospital expands.
August 2011: The inauguration of the building was in July 2010, it took a year to equip the hospital and get the necessary documents to be able to perform the surgeries and in August 2011 the hospital was officially opened to the public. In the last four weeks the hospital has performed eight surgeries and four of these were offered free. As the hospital becomes better known and receives more funding and equipment it will be able to perform many more surgeries. Currently the hospital is one of the largest hospitals in Xining dedicated solely to performing eye surgery.
After more than six years of development, FPMT was extremely pleased to announce the opening of the Amdo Eye Hospital, in Xining, the capital of Amdo, Tibet in July of 2010. This hospital is dedicated to providing continuous, sustainable and quality eye care to all and in particular those from underprivileged backgrounds. The hospital will also be offering smaller outreach microsurgery eye clinics in remote areas.
Every five seconds, one person in the world goes blind. 37 million people in the world are blind, yet with access to quality eye care, 80% of the world’s blindness would be totally avoidable.
The province of Amdo (called Qinghai in Chinese) is home to people of both Tibetan and Chinese descent. Many are nomads living far from modern health care facilities, and due to the terrain and scattered population, mobile eye care providers cannot always reach them. As a result, the prevalence of blindness in Amdo is four times higher than the national average for China. The need is urgent for accessible eye care in Amdo. That is why Geshe Lhundub Sopa Rinpoche requested Lama Zopa Rinpoche to help with the building of Amdo Eye Hospital.
Modeled on the already successful Lhasa Eye Clinic, the Amdo Eye Hospital provides high quality cataract surgery. Dr. Sanduk Ruit – who founded the highly successful Tilganga Eye Center in Kathmandu, the Lhasa Eye Clinic and the Nepal Eye Program – will be training the Amdo Eye Hospital staff and is committed to oversee operations for the next two years, ensuring the highest standards (Please read a letter of support from Dr. Sanduk Ruit).
The Simplest Miracle
Intraocular surgery can be performed in minutes. First the eye is washed to reduce the risk of infection. A local anesthetic is injected below the lower eyelid, blocking sensation in the eyeball. After the clouded interior of the lens is removed through a tiny incision on the side of the eyeball, the intraocular lens is inserted into the empty lens capsule. Dr. Ruit calls this surgery, “The best thing a human can do in five minutes.”
For the past six years FPMT has been committed to raising the funds to build the Amdo Eye Hospital along with the the kind contributions of many benefactors, in particular The Tanoto Foundation and Compassion Paris. The land the hospital was built on was offered free of charge by the local government and the total cost to build the hospital was US$605,970.
The annual cost to run the Amdo Eye Hospital is US$125,313 (800,000 CNY).
By offering to the Amdo Eye Hospital you are benefiting others who are in great need, in particularly the people in Tibet who are blind, helping them to open their eyes and see, what an incredible joy and happiness you are giving them!
However many hundreds and thousands of people who receive help from the Amdo Eye Hospital, for as long as it exists, they receive this unbelievable benefit because of your kindness and generosity.
From this you are creating unbelievable causes of happiness and success that will be achieved in this life and in future lives. This is the nature of the karma: from one cause you experience the result for hundreds and thousands of years.
Statements of Appreciation
No words can really completely capture the joyous feelings in my heart when I think of how Rinpoche and FPMT has benefited so many thousands of people these past twenty, thirty years. I have tried several times but each time I am so overwhelmed with the things I want to convey that I just get so choked up. Rinpoche is indescribable – so pure, so patient, so humble and so so wise… and it is really incredible the way everyone at FPMT is constantly supporting and helping Rinpoche in his untiring quest to bring Dharma to so many thousands of us at every level along the path. I am so humbled by Rinpoche’s vast wisdom and patience and so inspired by so much effort being put in by my Dharma brothers and sisters in FPMT all working with the unwavering goal of planting seeds, making Dharma accessible, teaching, sharing, inspiring, reaching out, giving a shoulder, and showing the way to attaining the peerless enlightenment and always benefiting others. It is just so blissful knowing I am a small part of Rinpoche’s great mandala. Thank you everyone … and most of all thank you to Rinpoche for opening my eyes and my mind to the true meaning and purpose of my life.
Portland, OR 97214-4702 USA
Tel (503) 808-1588 | Fax (503) 232-0557