Friday, August 18, 2017

Nuns to get nursing training in Yangon

A three-monthbasic nursing course for Buddhist nuns will begin in 7late October, the organiser of the training said last week.

Daw Thuta Nanni, who will lead the free program, told The Myanmar Times she was holding the program to improve health knowledge in the country’s nunneries.

Up to 30 nuns will be accepted for the program, which will be held at Yangon’s Botahtaung Pagoda from October 24 to late January and will focus on caring for children and the elderly.

The program is organised by Dhamma Thuta nunnery in Thanlyin township in collaboration with the trustees of Botahtaung Pagoda. A trial training course was conducted in April 2010 with seven participants.

“We have got official permission from the government authorities [to conduct the training] and if this first course is successful we plan to hold another one next year,” she said. “We have already registered 20 nuns for the upcoming course.”

Daw Thuta Nanni said she got the idea when she saw Buddhist monks from remote areas visiting Yangon to receive health care training they could then use in their monasteries.

“Medication is needed not only for Buddhist monks but also for nuns. Some monasteries and nunneries care for orphans. They have experienced many kinds of health problems with these children and they don’t have proper medical knowledge, only traditional methods,” she said. “Also, some monasteries and nunneries are far from the village medical clinic.

“We need at least basic knowledge of personal hygiene, even if we do not need to take care of others.”

However, not everyone has been supportive of the program, Daw Thuta Nanni said.

“Some people criticise us, saying that Buddhist nuns should not do the course because it is not compliant with the vinaya [rules for the clergy]. But this is nonsense because there is no law in the vinaya that prevents nuns from caring for patients. The Guatama Buddha even cared for people with his own hands,” she said.

“I met a lot of conservative people who tried to prevent this training. They think young Buddhist nuns will be in danger if they have to deal with laypeople,” she said. “But we are doing it because it is needed and through this training we can help many people.”

The course will be taught by experienced doctors and nurses, and practical classes will be held from 9am to 11am and theoretical training from 1pm to 4pm. Applicants should be aged 18 to 35 years and organisers will provide accommodation and meals to students based outside Yangon.

Those interested in attending the training can apply in person at Dhamma Thuta in Thanlyin township or call 09-7316-1075.