On Saturday, March 9 Anne and I were pleased to visit the Wits Palliative Care Centre at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto (Johannesburg) South Africa to deliver the full suitcase (22kg) of medical items and supplies donated by NJT. We drove from Pretoria, about 1.5 hours to the Centre where we were received by Sr. Keletso Mmoledi and three other persons, see photos.
The Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, we were told, is the largest hospital in all of Southern Africa. Large as it may be, they do not have nearly the budget they need to respond to the need. For example they only have funding for 5 of the 15 care beds. As a palliative care centre, they provide a range of services on site, while supporting people who want to spend their final days at home. As we opened the suitcase they explained how useful and needed are the items sent by NJT. Along with the syringes and other items, the stethoscopes and blood pressure machine were also greatly appreciated.
Sister Keletso was curious as to how NJT had her contact. She speculated on the basis of some earlier visitors and contacts including someone linked to Rotary International and a woman, now in Canada, that Keletso said had visited from a Christian NGO she referred to as Hospi Vision.
In the first photo you will see, from left to right, a doctor in the centre; myself and Anne; the assistant to the Director, Dr. Ratshikana-Moloko; Sister Keletso (with the reddish head cover); and another assistant working at the centre. In the third photo our two grandchildren are shown. It was a good experience for them to visit the centre and to also learn of how the medical items from Canada were so happily received.
In thanking NJT for the contribution, Sister Keletso also mentioned that she would soon retire. We did not ask who may be the best future contact should NJT have other travellers to South Africa.
It was a pleasure for us as visitors to South Africa to provide this modest volunteer support to NJT. It makes a difference to those who this centre can serve a little bit better by having some additional supplies that would not otherwise be available to them.
Bruce and Anne Moore