Zimbabwe: First aid shipments distributed – situation still serious

by Janika Simon/SRI,  2009/01/12

Janika Simon from Hamburg has been working for humedica in Zimbabwe since the beginning of December 2008. A country that is one of the poorest in the world and whose inhabitants are now also facing a cholera epidemic. Meanwhile, first aid shipments financed by the Foreign Ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany, have reached Zimbabwe. Time for the co-ordinator to take stock.

Ten mission hospitals were supplied with urgently needed relief items. Photo: humedica/Janika Simon

In almost all parts of the country medical care is inadequate. In co-operation with our local partner organization CADEC (Catholic Development Commission) we are active in the eastern region of Manikaland. The aim of our collaboration is to restore basic medical care in the region by distributing medicines, consumables and basic foodstuffs for the care of undernourished children and malnourished pregnant women in 10 mission clinics.

By bringing in 9 so-called medi-kits as well as various emergency food rations and food supplements from Germany we are hoping to achieve the goal of the project. Such a kit contains medicines and medical supplies for the care of up to 10 000 people over a period of 3 months. In addition, it is planned to purchase additional relief items locally, in order to supplement the delivered goods with items that are especially tailored to the needs of the local inhabitants in eastern Zimbabwe.

Unfortunately, our planned time-frame was delayed a little due to difficulties with the customs authorities. But we have been able to put this time to good use by preparing and conducting the planned workshop with at least one representative from each one of the ten hospitals involved. In most cases, it was the head nurse of each hospital who participated, since only two of the hospitals have a doctor.

Janika Simon organized workshops for the clinic personnel. Trainings are an essential part of the aid provided by humedica.Photo: humedica

The aid supplies flown in from Germany to Zimbabwe were transported from Harare to Mutare, where CADEC has its headquarters, and put into temporary storage. In order to ensure an effective and efficient collection of the relief items, it was decided to supply every clinic in two phases. A first delivery, which has meanwhile been made to all ten hospitals, comprised of the equipment as well as a basic supply of all other items included in the aid shipment.

The second phase, due for the end of January, will constitute a follow-up delivery of medicines, which are available in larger quantities, to re-stock the hospital supplies. This renewed visit to the aid recipients will also serve to ensure that the relief items are used for the intended purpose. Furthermore the hospitals are required to show the statistics kept so far.

Despite a few unforeseen obstacles, we were able to accomplish decisive steps towards the achievement of the project goal. Already, the relief items have contributed to a substantial improvement of the equipment of the 10 mission clinics as a basis for the medical care of the inhabitants in Manikaland.

Even though relief operations and the planned project work are under way, our aid continues to be urgently needed, particularly also for the care and treatment of cholera patients. Please support our work in Zimbabwe with a specific donation.

humedica e.V.
reference "Zimbabwe"
account 47 47
BLZ 734 500 00
Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

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