Siphenathi learnt to walk again with the help of our therapists. Junior is alive because his mom got an emergency Caesar and an experienced doctor was on hand to resuscitate him. Philiswa collects her life saving medication at her local clinic thanks to our pharmacists. Andile can hear again because he got a hearing aid. They come from far and wide seeking the help of the multi-disciplinary team at Zithulele Hospital, which has grown from only three doctors in 2005 to nearly 30 professionals by the end of 2011. Furthermore, four NGOs are now active in the community, further expanding access to health and education.
A positive cycle has been created through the increasing staff compliment: each person who joins the team makes it less daunting for the next; a bigger team means more word-of-mouth advertising, encouraging other suitable people to join; more people lessens the workload to a manageable level, making working here a viable long-term option and allowing services to be expanded; a bigger and more varied team (including specialist teachers and volunteers working for NGOs) creates a more balanced professional environment. However, despite enormous progress that the hospital and community has made, there is still significant room for improvement that can only be addressed through recruiting further professionals.
Regrettably, in 2012 we do not have the ability to accommodate professionals who are interested in being part of these improvements. Although accommodation has been expanded both through government building and NGO renovations, we have reached the point of having to turn people away as there is nowhere for them to live. Unfortunately the Department of Health does not have sufficient budget to increase accommodation further. For those of us from urban or semi-urban areas, the obvious solution to the accommodation shortage would be renting a local room or house from a third party, but there are no such options in Zithulele.
The Jabulani Rural Health Foundation is a non-profit organisation that exists to support the work of Zithulele Hospital and development of the surrounding community. This community has provided land on which to build accommodation and on which the Foundation has already managed the renovation of a community centre and library. Building accommodation on this land will therefore not only contribute to further development of health and education in Zithulele by providing much needed housing for professionals, but will be a source of sustainable funding for the community centre and library, as well as create a number of short term jobs.
Help us avoid turning away future Siphenathis, Juniors, Philiswas and Andiles because we’ve had to turn away the professionals who could help them. You can help us secure the future of health and education in the Zithulele community. Will you?
Your R1000 will bring us closer to this goal. Please consider making a donation today. Tell your friends and family – spread the word and be a part of something big!