3 new charities promote health, self-reliance in Africa

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently donated wheelchairs, audiology equipment, hearing aids, a maternity ward, and other medical equipment to three different countries in Africa.

These charities – in collaboration with local agencies and organizations – are expected to improve patients’ health, mobility, quality of life and self-sufficiency.

Wheelchair donation and training in Rwanda

The church worked with the Rwanda Biomedical Center and the National Council of Persons with Disabilities to distribute wheelchairs and organize a training program on October 20 in Kigali, Rwanda.

Over four days, local physiotherapists were trained in how to assess people with disabilities to match them with the most suitable wheelchairs and other assistive devices, reports the church’s Africa Newsroom.

The hospital technicians were also trained in assembling wheelchairs and repairing damaged wheelchairs.

Emmanuel Ndayisaba, executive secretary of the National Council of Persons with Disabilities, said, “The Latter-day Saints have given us the best quality wheelchairs and have pledged to supply enough for our people in need. He has shown us a heart of generosity.”

Many people who received a new wheelchair or walking aid expressed their thanks and said the aid would help them move around and complete daily tasks. He said that his existing equipment was old and damaged, and he could not afford to replace them himself.

Audiology equipment and hearing aids in South Africa

Church representatives give audiology equipment to the Western Cape Department of Health during a ceremony on October 21, 2022 in Paarl, South Africa.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

A collaboration between the Church and the Western Cape Department of Health will mean hearing-impaired people living in rural areas of South Africa will soon have access to new audiology equipment and hearing aids.

The extensive donation includes 136 different types of hearing aids that can be programmed based on a patient’s type or degree of hearing loss, Africa Newsroom reported.

Previously, audiologists serving rural communities had diagnostic audiology equipment that was too old to repair and needed immediate replacement. Now they have the new Portable Repair Tool Box, fully stocked with tools and supplies for repairing hearing aids.

Specialists will also be able to use the new equipment for newborn hearing screening – a first in some rural districts. This allows health officials to pick up on hearing loss in children as early as possible in order to manage language, educational and social development.

Due to non-availability of equipment, patients have to travel to big cities for testing, but transportation problems and long wait times have been a burden. Health officials spoke of longer wait times for resources for underserved communities.

Megan Davies-Ferguson from the Department of Health thanked the church for being ready to listen to the delivery challenges of audiologists serving the hearing-impaired community.

“What is so encouraging about this donation is that it is specifically tailored to the needs of each district. … We will see the long-term impact going forward,” she said.

New maternity ward and equipment in Uganda

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Hospital beds donated by the church to the Bugembe Health Center in Bugembe, Uganda, September 28, 2022

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

As Africa Newsroom reports, the church built and equipped a maternity ward at the Bugembe Health Center in Jinja, Uganda.

The health center serves approximately 60,000 people. The project was launched to help women access quality healthcare during pregnancy and childbirth – which would significantly help reduce mortality.

The president of the Jinja Uganda stake, Moses N. Mbiro, speaking on behalf of the church at the handover ceremony on September 28, said, “God is using The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a vessel to bless His children in Bugembe.”

He emphasized the importance of charity among all the sons and daughters of God on earth.

In addition to the new maternity ward, the donation also included beds, mattresses, trolleys, incubators, monitors, pulse oximeters, dopplers and other medical equipment.

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