Thursday, 12 January 2017
A WHITEPARK Bay woman, who was among those who founded the Holy Innocent's Childrens' Hospital at Mbarara in Uganda, has praised those from home who continue to support it through their fundraising efforts. Eleanor Hayes, a former Director of Nursing at Belfast City Hospital and Greenpark Healthcare Trust, was approached by Health Care professionals from San Diego, California, in 2009 and asked to lend her support to the first ever hospital in Uganda which would be dedicated to paediatrics.
Eleanor explained: "Prior to this hospital being built, children were being brought to the main hospital and laid on benches, one in seven children died before they reached the age of five, with the most common causes being respiratory problems and Malaria."
In January of that year Eleanor joined a team of paediatricians and doctors on their journey to Mbarara.
She said: "Initially it was thought I could stay and get the hospital opened, but it soon became obvious that it wasn't near that stage. There were no sluices, no thought had been put into communication systems, there wasn't any provision for water so laundering would've been difficult also."
Mother-of-two, Eleanor, stayed one month, but before she left she lined up a team of people to get the ball rolling for the opening of the hospital.
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