Victoria Hospital yearly needs to find funding in excess of R1.5m to R2.5m for additional equipment that is required by the Hospital and not funded within their budget each year. The hospital serves a huge drainage area of over 900 000 people from areas that are sorely in need of assistance. Wynberg Rotary Club have been involved with Victoria Hospital for a number of years with larger Global Grant projects and smaller hands-on projects each year.
During the last 3 years we have completed 2 Global Grants and spent approximately R800 000. The first Grant concentrated on major equipment needed in the theatre departments. The second Grant concentrated on the Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Departments.
The theatre department were thrilled and are actively using the equipment supplied on a daily basis. Likewise the Occupation and Physiotherapy departments use their equipment daily and their patients are thrilled to be able to use the equipment to help with their rehabilitation. The second grant also included a reasonable size of training for staff. The staff were thrilled to be able to go and upgrade their skills and eager to come back and use their patients with the new knowledge gained. These departments use small items which mean a lot (eg a pencil grip when a child is battling to hold a pencil in their development stages). Because they are small items the government budgets do not see these as being essential and these departments often lag behind. So you can imagine the huge gratitude and enthusiasm when they were supported.
For both these Grants we partnered with Nittedal Rotary Club in Norway (main contact Oistein Glommi) to do the Global Grants. Our grateful thanks go to them from us and the patients that are served by Victoria Hospital.
This list is always pretty long but we have identified the rehabilitation units and eye care units as the next areas that we would like to focus on and really needing assistance. The government will be rebuilding Victoria Hospital, which is 126 years old and in very old buildings that have been adjusted and added onto over the years, in 15-20 years time. The site has already been secured and ear-marked. The building of the new hospital is now on the list of hospitals to be rebuilt. For this reason we will only go in with equipment that can be moved to the new hospital at this stage.
Currently hip and knee replacement operations are performed and very little, if any, rehabilitation can take place for 2 reasons: the need that beds are “recycled” with those on the waiting list and the lack of adequate or the correct equipment for rehabilitation. Patients are operated on and told to go home and do exercises. We all know that a huge number of patients do not do these exercises correctly or regularly once home. If there is the right equipment they can also come back as out patients to do the exercises under the eyes of the therapists.
Eye care assessment currently takes twice as long to do on very old equipment and the waiting lists just keep growing. Speaking to the frustrated practitioners in this department they believe that if they had the right equipment they could not only see more patients each day but also save some patients from going blind while waiting for their assessments and required surgery.
This is a hospital with a great big heart and staff that are dedicated professionals under very trying circumstances.
Our club was asked to help brighten up the lives of the doctors and patients in the Psychiatry Department by sprucing up their very dreary, run-down office/interview accommodation.
Firstly, the walls of the department’s three offices were prepared and painted a beautiful, “Georgian” green. Two solid pine wall desks, shelving and a table were installed. A couple of notice boards, four new office chairs on wheels and cushions to brighten up their patient seating were provided. Happily the doctors and staff were delighted with the results!
Tap turners are funny little pieces of wood that are cut out and varnished. But they are immensely useful to old and young patients who battle to turn taps on and off. Wynberg Rotary every now and then when needed enjoy a social get together to make these enjoying great fellowship at the same time.
Painting at the Clinical Trauma Unit:
Wynberg Rotary together with the Wynberg Rotaract Club the Victoria Hospital Forensic Medicine Unit was given a paint and assisted with some refurbishment. They deal with adult and children victims of trauma (eg rape and physical abuse). Dr Marianne approached us to help brighten the place up as these victims have experienced the most horrific traumas when they arrived there. Thank you to all that helped out.
The Wright Ward
Wynberg Rotary helped with the funding of supplies for the re-opening of the “Wright Ward” at Victoria Hospital, The ward had been closed in 1993 due to a lack of funds and staffing problems. With the hospital having an occupancy rate of over 100%, the re-opening of this “general” ward with 20 beds and a proposed 8-bed “isolation ward” was long overdue and now being used constantly.
WRC has established an on-going relationship with Victoria Hospital and each year the projects vary.