US NGO comes to the rescue of refugee camp

A non-governmental organisation based in the United States, Help for Others Inc, has pledged to turn around a refugee camp and support the struggling Midlands Provincial Hospital.

The organisation, which is run by Zimbabweans, has already acquired state-of-the-art medical equipment valued at $200,000 to be donated to the Gweru-based hospital. In an interview, Gloria Mpofu, the NGO’s director who grew up in Gweru, said the medical equipment included microscopes, patient monitoring systems, an isotemp incubator used for storing temperature sensitive medicines and high blood pressure kits.

Other kits to be donated include tonometers used in treating eye problems and a fibre optic light transfer machine. The organisation has also secured otoscopes which are used in treating patients with ear problems, wheelchairs, IV tubes and needles.

Mpofu indicated that her organisation had also collected $50,000 to be donated to Lalapansi Ebenezer refugee camp. The camp accommodates refugees recommended to the institution by government authorities in the province.

Tables, chairs, stationery, floormats and kitchen utensils will also be handed over to the institution by the NGO.

It is the second time that the US organisation has helped institutions in the Midlands province. Last year, the NGO donated furniture and other materials worth thousands of dollars to Hozheri primary school in Lalapanzi. “We always want to plough back into the country’s institutions despite the fact that the organisation we are coming from is based in the US.

“It makes me happy to associate with and help institutions that are giving essential services to people in the province,” said Mpofu, who last year won the volunteer of the year award at the ZimExpo consortium, an annual event that honours Zimbabweans from all over the USA. The event was held in Chicago in the US.

Some of the donated medical equipment will go a long way to help the development of the newly established renal unit that opened a fortnight ago.

The unit, which is now providing relief for patients with kidney problems who were previously forced to travel to Harare and Bulawayo for treatment, is still in its infancy and caters for four people a day.

The donations for the refugee camp in Lalapansi, which has about 100 residents, come as a boost for the institution, which has been struggling to meet operational costs since 2009 in the absence of government support.

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