From Switzerland to Limpopo, transfer of medical equipment
From (l-r) Ambassador of Switzerland Christian Meuwly, Limpopo MEC for Health and Social Development Norman Mabasa, CEO of Elim Hospital Elbie Vosloo and CEO of Mediclinic International Danie Meintjes pictured at the ceremony marking the handover to Elim Hospital of medical equipment sponsored by Switzerland and Mediclinic
Switzerland is renewing its long-standing ties with Elim Hospital in Limpopo Province which was built and inaugurated in 1899 by Swiss Doctor, George Liengme. Dr Liengme was sent to South Africa by the then Swiss Mission, based in Lausanne, Switzerland.
His Excellency Christian Meuwly, the Ambassador of Switzerland in South Africa, and Mr. Danie Meintjes (CEO of private hospital group, Mediclinic International) handed over medical equipment and furniture to the maternity ward of Elim Hospital in the presence of Hon. MEC Dr Norman Mabasa, Minister of Health for Limpopo Province on 30 November 2012.
The Swiss contribution to Elim Hosptial will allow the recently renovated maternity ward to be better equipped to meet the needs of maternal health in the region. The donation was made possible thanks to the generosity of Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) and Mediclinic in Switzerland. Mediclinic’s attention to health care extends to further than its private patients.
Before the completion of renovation works in May 2012, Elim maternity ward did not have a theatre and lacked essential medical equipment. “The Swiss donation will contribute to the expansion of medical equipment of the ward, which strives continuously to improve maternal health and reduce child mortality, as per the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations”, says Elbie Vosloo, acting CEO of the hospital. An average of three hundred babies is born every month. The donated ultrasound apparatus will allow better monitoring of pregnancies and an accurate prevention of medical complications.
Since its creation in the 19th century, Elim Hospital rendered invaluable services to the population of the region and neighboring countries. Its fame was increased due to an eye care unit managed by a Swiss doctor, Erika Sutter, who is also the founder of Elim Nursing School in Ophthalmology. Elim Hospital has managed to maintain the good reputation of its ophthalmic service and has been able to expand the scope of services provided by its maternity ward, since the latter now serves an extensive network of rural clinics which send their difficult cases to Elim.