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Old beds find new home in Kenya

A hospital in Kenya will be the new home for 33 old hospital beds from Echuca Regional Health.

IVY WISE July 28, 2014 3:04am

Mark Rumble and Serena Moore (seated) with (from left) Michelle Shingles, James Wilson, Harold Major, Glenda Curran and Neville Hunter.


Thirty-three old hospital beds from Echuca Regional Health are being sent to Kenya to fit-out a new children’s ward.

Kyabram’s Serena Moore and Shepparton’s Mark Rumble, who raised the money to build the children’s hospital, collected the beds from ERH on Friday.

They will be used to fit-out more than a third of the 90-bed ward, in the remote town of Bungoma in western Kenya.

‘‘I can’t express how grateful we are to ERH. We are overwhelmed and so excited,’’ Ms Moore said.

The Kyabram vet and the Shepparton chaplain have been involved in the hospital project for about seven years after first visiting the disadvantaged area in 2007.

They were both deeply affected by the overcrowding and feeling of hopelessness, particularly in the children’s ward, which had 27 beds for an average of 100 patients.

‘‘It was horrific, with four to five kids to one bed,’’ Mr Rumble said.

‘‘A child dies every day in the ward from disease that’s preventable, usually from cross-infection.

‘‘In the peak malaria season, there are 130 kids in the ward, plus their parents.’’

Over the years, the pair has held various fundraisers in Kyabram and Shepparton, raising $250,000 to build the new double-storey hospital, with the handover to take place on July 31.

On a recent visit, it was agreed that if the Bungoma government provided $35,000 to complete the hospital, Ms Moore and Mr Rumble and their team would fit it out.

Hearing about their need for hospital beds, ERH new hospital project clinical lead Michelle Shingles said donating the beds couldn’t have happened at a better time.

With Echuca’s new hospital fitted out with new beds, Mrs Shingles said ERH was unsure what would happen with the old beds.

‘‘We thought there might be a waste,’’ she said.

‘‘Their project was ready to go, so the timing of the request was perfect for us and them.

‘‘It’s great working in partnership with a local group that works so hard in making a difference.’’

Ms Moore, Mr Rumble and their team will spend the next few days collecting more beds from around NSW and Victoria, before raising $10,000 to ship them to the African country.

To donate to the project or for information, visit www.bungomaproject.com.au

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