300 metal frame crutches delivered to the National Referral Hospital (NRH)
On Monday afternoon this week, in keeping with a promise made to the hospital’s medical superintendent, 300 metal frame crutches were handed over to Dr John Hue and Ms Regina Lebo who is in charge of the hospitals Physiotherapy Department.
For several years I have been acutely aware that more than 400 to 500 in-patients and former patients of the NRH had to have surgery for the removal of a leg following contracting diabetes.
I have also been conscious of the fact that without an artificial leg or walking aids, such as crutches, their mobility and lifestyles have been severely restricted, even to the extent their disabilities have prevented many from working to support their dependant family members.
I set about trying to get a 20 or 40 foot old shipping container gifted to the NRH and fitted out as a workshop to enable existing, trained technicians, to manufacture prosthetic limbs and custom fit them to the awaiting amputees.
The former workshop for the manufacture of artificial limbs suffered from termite and white ant infestation and was finally demolished last year, but for several years prior to its total destruction, it had not been used as a workshop, as it had been in early year
My international appeal and quest for a shipping container, or a pre-fab building went unanswered until finally I felt it necessary to try and get the numerous awaiting amputees crutches.
I made and appeal for help and the helping hand came from Mr. J Sy, the President of the Solomon Islands Forest Association (SFA) and the Board Members. The SFA went about procuring the crutches and shipping them to Honiara, where they arrived late last week.
Arrangements were speedily made for the handover to the NRH.
Dr. John Hue, the NRH’s Medical Superintendent said during the ceremony that Physiotherapy Department would be able to provide for the hospital’s many diabetic amputees, those having been involved in accidents and others with medical conditions which prevented them walking without support..
Dr Hue paid special tribute and thanks to Mr. J Sy and the Board of the SFA, as well as to me, for the help given to the NRH.
I would add to this piece my own thanks to the SFA for coming to the aid of the NRH once again, for it must not be forgotten that the SFA has supported all my calls for help and assisted with the sea freight of many hundreds of hospital beds, medical equipment and medical supplied sourced through my partner charity in New Zealand, ‘Take My Hands.’ Also the SFA paid for the freight of 90 boxes of clothing obtained through ‘Take My Hands’ for the several thousand orphan children and elderly widows cared for on Malaita by the Hearts of Hope Charity.
Most recently, prior to the arrival of the crutches, the SFA supplied thermal devices to the Henderson Airport to assist in the detection of risk arrivals that might have been carrying coronavirus symptoms by displaying a high body temperature above 7.5 c on their arrival.
It must be remembered, too, the SFA also most recently pledged S$1 million to the local Covid-19 campaign.
In ending this piece, I would again like to appeal for any individual donor, business, or organization, to consider helping to supply a shipping container to the NRH and have it fitted out to enable it to function as a workshop and see artificial limbs manufactured and custom fitted to the growing number of amputees that need rehabilitation beyond giving them crutches.