The Mayoress of Harare Fran Manyenyeni this week went on a familiarisation tour of Harare Children’s Hospital.
The tour was initiated by the Welfare Committee of the Harare Children’s Hospital Trust (HCHT), a non-profit making organisation set-up in 2012 to help rehabilitate the health care institution. Harare Children’s Hospital was established in 1999 as a sub-unit for kids at Harare Hospital. It currently holds 240 beds.
Mayoress Manyenyeni who was accompanied by the deputy mayoress, Wendy Muzuva also took the opportunity to donate proceeds from the Cheer Fund to the children’s hospital. The donated goods included washing powder, soup powder, petroleum jelly and clothes.
“We decided to come here on a familiarisation tour so that we see how we can help. When we go out there we will know what to look for exactly,” she said.
The Matron in Charge at the hospital, Lucia Jongwe said that her institution was confronted with various challenges, including playrooms and linen for the kids as well as beds to accommodate the breastfeeding mothers overnight.
“We do not allow mothers [breastfeeding] to sleep with their sick children because there are no resources so we need foldable beds which can accommodate the mothers. There are also no toilets and bathrooms for the mothers,” explained Jongwe.
Harare Children’s Hospital units include the Accidents Emergency Unit, Intensive Care Unit, Burns Unit, Surgical Ward, two medical wards which cater for children under the age of 13. The Opportunistic Infections Clinic caters for young people up to the age of 18.
HCHT started with the medical department only and has since set-up a welfare department to look for funds. Joanna Powell who is a committee member of HCHT’s Welfare Committee said that her organisation is working hard to refurbish the hospital back to its old standards of being a hospital of excellence.
“Mothers cannot stay with their sick babies because the beds are small so it has become expensive for the mothers to come every day. We need to acquire special beds that are foldable for the mothers. We have already done some painting and cleaning in some of the wards. We are appealing to the corporate world to chip in so that they help with some of the major rehabilitation work,” said Powell.
Those interested in volunteering for the Friends of the Harare Children’s Hospital project can email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit HCHT’s Facebook page.