The 2010 Rose Charities NZ was held on 2 October at Pip and Bill’s place on Waiheke Island. The following notes are a summary of the the main points emerging from the meeting.
- We have a new trustee, nominated by Mike Webber, Heather Richardson. Heather is a specialist theatre nurse who has worked a lot with Mike at Wanganui Hospital. (The microscope that went to Cambodia in March this year was her “baby” for 10 years.) She is also a Rotarian. She lives in Marton. She has had experience conducting nursing training for ophthalmology in Fiji. We are lucky to have her join our team.
- We are applying for accreditation with MFAT / NZ AID for NZ contestable NGO funds.
- CAMBODIA: Planning for the year ahead: A very valuable ($100,00 new) Phaco machine has been donated to Rose for the Cambodian clinic from St Georges Southern Cross Hospital in Christchurch. It will be packed and crated by Agility Logistics, as happened with the microscope sent in March this year, and will be sent up to Phnom Penh early next year. It is proposed to ask Dr Basant Sharma of Nepal, who uses exactly the same instrument at the Lumbini Eye Institute, to go to PP to oversee the installation and training of staff. Rose will need to pay for this. Trustee John Veale may also be going up to Cambodia with the machine.
- Note: since the AGM another machine has been donated to use from Wanganui. Mike is very excited about this, as it can be used for field work and early detection of problems that lead to blindness. It too will be packed and shipped up and of course Rose will be paying for this.
- Mike Webber and John Veale are discussing a future laser machine for the PP clinic, which Rose would have to purchase.
- Future plans for possible projects in Cambodia would involve outreach work, to reach people in the country. Possibly a new clinic might be established; a van for outreach work, to get doctors and nurses to eye camps, might be considered (about $US 10,000 would have to be raised.)
- NEPAL: Trish Gribben is going to visit Basant Sharma at the Lumbini Eye Institute around November 22, and will report back after that. Basant, who came to New Zealand for three weeks two years ago, says that outreach work has been on hold while the political situation is very unstable. He will be taking Trish to a village where an outreach clinic could be a good possibility. The group I am travelling with is being led by Dr John McKinnon, a retired ophthalmologist who was the first doctor in Ed Hillary’s first hospital in Nepal, 45 years ago.
- PACIFIC: Mike Webber reported that eye care in the Pacific is well covered by the Fred Hollows Foundation, so it is not a priority for Rose.
- Rose sent a grief and trauma counsellor to Samoa after the tsunami, Liese Groot-Alberts. Her work was so well received that she was asked to return six times this year, and OXFAM have supported her to do that. However, a need for PALLIATIVE care in Samoa has been identified and Liese has been asked to conduct training workshops for doctors and nurses to get this started. Rose is very keen to help her do that. We understand that there is a huge burden placed on families when a terminally ill patient is sent to NZ for treatment and dies here. The emotional and financial cost to families can be life changing.
- In New Zealand we have confirmed donations to two new refugee support groups in Auckland and Christchurch, to help with family reunification; a women’s group within the Tamil community in Auckland; and the Champion Centre which gives early intervention for children with multiple disabilities.
What a contrast between the chaos and destruction caused by the Haiti earthquake (7.0) and that of the shallower and stronger Christchurch quake (7.1). Haiti: over 200,000 dead. Christchurch: no deaths. Haiti: 300,000 seriously injured, Christchurch: two seriously injured. There are other such contrasting statistics relating to the numbers of homes and buildings destroyed, people displaced and children orphaned. A major contributing factor to the differences must be that the quake in Haiti occurred at 21:53 while people were still out and about and the Christchurch quake occurred at 04:35 so most people were in their homes. However, these startling contrasts must stand testament to the stringent building codes and practices enforced in Christchurch. Haiti continues to receive much needed international aid including aid from Rose Charities but perhaps aid is also need to improve and maintain their building standards and practices.
The first medics sent by Rose Charities Canada to Haiti after the earthquake have returned to Canada to create a teaching programme for the School of Nursing in Port-au-Prince. This programme will start in Port-au-Prince in mid-October and will be open to 22 nurses from various hospitals around the city.
In addition to sending medics to Haiti, Rose Charities Canada and Rose USA have, today, dispatched a large 40 ft container full of medical equipment and supplies all of which are to help resestablish the School of Nursing and the pediatric ward of the general hospital in Port-au-Prince. Most of this equipment was donated by Medwish International Ohio and the remainder bought with funds raised by Rose Charities Canada and Rose USA. Some examples of supplies are: beds, cots, neo-natal monitoring equipment, syringes.
While in Vancouver I observed a lot of work going on to continue efforts to help Haiti. In this case the focus was the School of Nursing which was completely destroyed during the earthquake killing 74 young nursing students. Rose Charities Canada and Rose USA combined their efforts initially to send medical staff – nurses and pediatricians. These medics on the spot were able to identify specific needs for equipment and training all of which were desperately needed.