Medical workers at a general hospital of Trang Dinh District in Lang Son Province, northern Vietnam have made use of a space under a staircase to create a 'zero-dong clothing shop' which offers second-hand clothes to needy patients.
Bui Thi Nu, a 66-year-old resident of Thach Anh District, Cao Bang Province recently took her husband to the hospital for treatment and was touched when she saw the 'shop' and was able to pick out clothing for her husband.
“It’s so beautiful! I’m so surprised! The space is clean and there are few places like this. I’m excited. Thanks a lot! These clothes are really meaningful. I will not have to buy anything elsewhere because of this,” Nu said.
|Bui Thi Nu, a caretaker, is happy to choose clothes for her husband at the 'zero-dong shop.' Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre|
Luong Van Quan, a 20-year-old who has been at the hospital for several days undergoing treatment for gastrointestinal bleeding, echoed Nu’s sentiment.
“A shirt [outside the hospital] costs at least VND70,000 [US$3], but here they are free of charge. I’m happy to have more clothes,” Quan said.
In 2018, the Youth Union of the Trang Dinh General Hospital opened the 'shop' with an aim to help underprivileged patients and their caretakers.
Nguyen Ngoc Ha, secretary of the hospital’s Youth Union, said that more than 30 medical workers at the hospital help collect clothes from benefactors, organizations, and individuals in the district.
They later select, classify, and wash the clothes before putting them on shelves at the 'zero-dong shop.'
|The 'zero-dong clothes shop' initiative has brought happiness to many patients and their caretakers. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre|
Giving hearts, receiving love
Most patients in the upland district of Trang Dinh are members of the Tay, Nung, and Dao ethnic minority groups and typically are under extreme financial stress.
The initiative of the Trang Dinh General Hospital’s Youth Union has helped ease these patients’ burden.
Doctors have learnt about the circumstances of pregnant women and child patients receiving treatment at the hospital and made donations to support them.
Many of them choose clothes from the 'zero-dong shop' and give them to the patients personally.
Duong Van Anh, a nurse, retold a story about a disabled pregnant woman who was taken to the hospital by her neighbors.
She said they brought nothing to the hospital, not even money. Therefore, doctors made donations to help the woman buy meals and utensils and chose clothes from the 'zero-dong shop' for her.
|Duong Van Anh, a nurse at the Trang Dinh General Hospital, gives clothes for a mother and her child to their family member. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre|
“We sympathize with patients. When we can help others, our lives become more meaningful,” Anh said.
Moved by the heart of medical workers, many patients, after being discharged from the hospital, return to give the staff sweet potatoes, corn, and other gifts.
The 'zero-dong shop' has been in operation for five years and has become a bridge connecting benefactors and medical workers in Trang Dinh with needy patients.
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