Home | News    Wednesday 9 March 2011

Rotary club donates medical equipments to Juba hospital

By Julius N. Uma

March 08, 2011 (JUBA) – The Rotary Club of Juba last week donated an anaesthetic system to the government-owned Juba teaching hospital, as part of its corporate social responsibility.

Michael Elmquist, the acting president of Rotary Club of Juba (L) and president-elect Nina Ledang from Rotary Club of Kristiansand, Norway, 1 March 2011 (www.rotaryclubofjuba.org)

The state-of-the-art Glostavent machine, valued at US$15,000, is specifically designed for use in tough environments. Manufactured by the UK-based Diametica Limited, the machine is expected to enhance the capacity of the hospital to conduct safe operations, particularly in complications in connection with child birth.

In his remarks during the handover ceremony, Diametica Limited’s Robert Neighbour said, “In Western countries, the typical anaesthetic equipment requires steady electricity, a dust-free environment, and temperatures not exceeding 23 degrees.” The Glostavent is able to withstand these conditions.
Neighbour, who was in Juba, the South Sudan capital, to install the equipment and to teach the hospital staff how to use the machine emphasised the importance of proper maintenance.

“Glostavent is to anaesthesia in developing countries what Land Cruisers are to the roads here,” he remarked, amidst a rapturous applause.

Mergani Abdalla, a gynaecologist in charge of the maternity ward at the hospital decried the high levels of maternal mortality rates in the semi-autonomous region.

“Maternal mortality is far too high in South Sudan, and we are not proud of it,” Abdalla said, adding that, “This equipment will help us save lives of women and children. We are very grateful for this donation.”

Michael Elmquist, the Rotary Club of Juba president said the donation, undertaken by the association, resulted from what he described as a “matching grant”. The initiative, he clarified, emerged courtesy of funding provided by the International Rotary Foundation through the Rotary Club of Bideford Bridge, England.

“The Rotary Club of Juba only had to provide a symbolic amount of US$100, but more importantly, we were responsible for the safe arrival of the equipment and for handing it over to the hospital on behalf of Rotary,” Elmquist remarked.

The Juba club, which is part of Rotary International, was officially started on 16 March 2010. Polio eradication has been Rotary’s top priority for more than two decades; working with the World Health Organization (WHO), the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF).

Worldwide, Rotary club members have reportedly contributed more than US$1billion and countless volunteer hours to the polio eradication effort, and have recently pledged to raise an additional US$200million to match $355million in challenge grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. All of the resulting $555million will be spent in support of eradication activities.