Ewha Medical Care (EMC), a volunteer association formed by the School of Medicine of Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital, has entered upon its 20th anniversary this year. EMC consists of three to five professors in the medical area, 10 graduate and undergraduate students at Ewha and some medical staffs of the hospital. EMC volunteers in the underdeveloped countries by delivering medical supplies and vitamins to the destitute, doing free medical examinations and working on cultural interchanges with the visiting country. EMC is supported by many organizations of Ewha including the Ewha School of Medicine, Medical Center and Ewha Alumna Association.
Due to fairly distant location of Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital from Ewha, EMC and the hospital might not be so familiar to Ewha students. EMC, however, has reached its 20th year of volunteering through various medical volunteer programs in the underdeveloped countries and has become Ewha’s representative volunteer program where students from various majors other than medical area can participate as well.
EMC’s first volunteer visit initiated in Nepal in February 1989, with a request from an Ewha alumna in Nepal. Three professors in the medical area, two young medical doctors and six students from the Ewha School of Medicine participated in this first journey to Nepal for 25 days and paved the way for the current EMC.
EMC has continued the volunteer program until this year by doing medical volunteer work at Nepal, Cambodia, Uzbekistan and Vietnam once every year. From the year of 2007, EMC has decided to expend the volunteer program to twice a year at Vietnam and Uzbekistan respectably. EMC has served more than 1,000 patients in the underdeveloped countries since 1989.
EMC has played a significant role not only in the medical area but also in the cultural interchanges between the underdeveloped countries and Korea. The ‘Namaste (a common spoken salutation in South Asia) Reception’, which is a gathering of the volunteers and Nepal people after their volunteer work,, now has become an annual ceremony among those concerned with the volunteering in Nepal. The reception is considered as an opportunity for people from both countries to develop relationships.
Seoul Medical Association awarded EMC the ‘Hanmi Cham Award for the Medical Service’ in December 2008. This award is given to people who contribute to the improvement of public health domestically or internationally. EMC was awarded for its contribution to the medical area through active participation in the volunteer work abroad. EMC has especially shown its commitment by bringing a child with a congenital heart disease to Ewha Womans University Medical Center and conducting a surgical operation on complimentary condition.
This summer, 16 members of EMC visited Urgench, a city in north-western Uzbekistan, and completed the medical volunteer work from July 10 to 18. EMC volunteers gave free medical examinations and health instructions. Also EMC held medical lectures and symposiums at the Urgench Branch of Tashkent Medical Academy.
“The most memorable moment during this journey was visiting the Urgench people’s house to examine their health and experience their lives,” said Lee Woon-jung (Liberal Arts, 1). “Although we spoke different languages, I could feel warm when they tried to give us everything of what they have got.”
Throughout the volunteering journey, there were also some fun episodes.
“In the countryside of Uzbekistan, residents could speak neither English nor Russian. So one of the professors from EMC used body language in order to make the patients and members of the Uzbekistan health center understand the word ‘Urine’,” said Park Yu-chan (Molecular and Life Sciences, 2).
During this journey to Uzbekistan, the EMC members were divided into four groups including one group that volunteered for dental care. The groups were arranged to different public health centers and completed their work. Brushing the patients’ teeth, measuring blood pleasure and assisting the process of urine analysis were part of the tasks assigned to EMC students.
“I hope many Ewha students can participate in EMC because the experiences truly enlighten us of how happy we are,” said Kim Hyo-sup (School of Medicine). The opportunity to join the journey with EMC is open to all students at Ewha regardless of their major or grade.
저작권자 © Ewha Voice 무단전재 및 재배포 금지