Harare – “As not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country”, these words by the former US President J F Kennedy have fallen right into the ears of Gwanda residents who have embarked on an ambitious project of donating blankets to a hospital in the small town.
The country’s health system is currently in a dire situation owing to poor budget allocation resulting in lack of government support in the country’s hospital.
The country is supposed to allocate 15% of its budget towards health according the Abuja Declaration, which the country is signatory to.
However, since the beginning of the year the government has not contributed anything towards the health sector with most hospitals becoming a replica of death beds.
Cognizant of the issues the Gwanda residents under the Gwanda Residents association have embarked on a programe undergo community involving programmes to directly benefit the community of Gwanda.
“One such programme that the Association has resolved to undertake is the “Blankets For Gwanda Hospital Campaign. The initiative seeks to get the community of Gwanda within Gwanda and outside Gwanda plus all well wishers to contribute towards the purchase of bedding for use by patients at the hospital,” said the residents in a statement.
They highlighted that these had arisen from the fact that residents were being forced to use poor blankets.
“The campaign came up as a result of a needs assessment conducted by the Residents Association through the residents where it was discovered that residents were being forced to take personal blankets and linen when ever their loved ones are admitted at the hospital due to a shortage of blankets at the hospital,” they added.
The residents said they will donate a dollar for this initiative.
“Locally, the initiative will be a ward based programme where residents will be mobilised within their wards to purchase donation tickets which are initially pegged at a minimum of $1 per ticket. For those outside Gwanda, modalities will be made to have donations come through the hospital system,” they said.
They said they would identify intressted residents to come on board to achieve the target.
“The idea is to incorporate into the programme as many as possible residents, stakeholders, community leaders, institutions and business persons so that at the end of the day everyone with Gwanda at heart will identify themselves with the programme,” they said.
The programe is set to be launched in September and urged people to spread the message.
“The programme will be launched at the hospital on the 3rd of September where the programme coordinators will be unveiled. Until then, the Association would like to advise members of the public not to start making any contributions towards the initiative but spread the word of the initiative and be there at the hospital to be part of the launch,” the concluded.
The group are also making use of social media, their Facebook page is Blankets For Gwanda Hospital.