The mission of Wellness Global Foundation (WGF) is to sponsor and implement programs intended to improve the health, education, and economic well-being of impoverished people in Vietnam, with special emphasis on children, the handicapped, and the elderly. To continually expand these humanitarian efforts in Vietnam, Wellness Global Foundation (WGF) was founded in May, 2007. In October, 2007, it was recognized as a tax exempt 501 (c)(3) organization by the Internal Revenue Service, US Department of Treasury.
Wellness Global Foundation chose to incorporate the lotus flower into the logo due to the symbolism of the lotus flower and its importance in the Buddhist religion. Lotus flowers are beautiful despite growing from the mud. As such, they are often used to symbolize something beautiful that comes from undesirable circumstances. Children are taught to be like a lotus flower, reminding the children that it is possible to make something good out of their position, however low it may be. This symbolism is linked to Wellness Global Foundation’s mission to not only help better the lives of those in need in Vietnam, but also to offer training and support so that, through their efforts, the people of Vietnam will be able to improve the lives of generations to come.
In November of 2003 Dr. Kim Hai Bui instigated and coordinated a Medical Congress in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam. It included participants from the Sart Tilman University Hospital (CHU) of the University of Liège (ULg), Belgium, and the Health Care Service of HCMC. This humanitarian project was also backed by the province of Liège, Belgium.
Twenty faculty members from the University of Liège Medical School came to the Congress to exchange their respective experiences and knowledge in various fields including: hospital management, cardiology, emergency medicine, orthopedics, hematology, pulmonary medicine, medical imaging, endocrinology, ENT, gynecology, family medicine, and organ transplantation.
Following the Congress Professor Michel Meurisse M.D, Head of the Abdominal Surgery and Transplant Department of the ULg, met with the officials from the Health Care Service of HCMC to discuss the feasibility of a live donor renal transplantation program. After establishing the necessary infrastructure, a transplant team from the CHU of the ULg successfully performed four kidney transplants from live donors at Hospital 115 in HCMC in February 2004. As expected, the news of the kidney transplant operations made the front page of the Saigon Times newspaper. Currently, more than 30 kidney transplants from live donors have been performed.
Building on the success of the kidney transplant program, Dr. Kim Hai Bui expanded the scope of the humanitarian project by introducing a cardiac surgery program in Vietnam. After initial feasibility studies, in May 2006, Professor Natzi Sakalihasan, M.D, from the ULg, successfully performed cardiac operations on ten patients. Subsequent missions have been carried out, and to date more than 30 cardiac operations have been performed.
Also, in November 2006, under the guidance of Professor Didier Giet, M.D, also from the ULg, a Family Practice training program was established at the University Training Center of HCMC. This program helps provide effective first line medical care for patients who often go directly to hospitals due to the lack of general practitioners and family doctors.
In addition to these focused and direct programs, our group has also been involved in the education and training of health care providers in Vietnam. Thus, there have been ongoing exchange programs for nursing, physicians, students, and health care administrators between the ULg and the Health Care Service at HCMC.
Also under consideration is a project to build a high technology Belgian-Vietnamese University hospital in Cu Chi (20 kms from HCMC), which includes a technologically advanced hospital, a medical school, and a pharmaceutical hub. This project was ranked among the top priority investments by the Vietnamese government. Dr. Kim Hai Bui is leading this project, with Dr. Toan Nguyen, Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. Other Belgian physicians are serving as consultants for this project.
Wellness Global Foundation hopes to expand our mission to include creating wells to bring potable water to village schools, support handicap children, and creating scholarship programs for poor and gifted children who cannot afford education.
THE LOTUS FLOWER