Health Help International aim to help improve the health of the less fortunate in our world. Read more about us, our work and how you can help.

Update from Asha Kiran Ashram

Special needs school, Tamil Nadu, Tirunelveli, India, disabled children

We have just received the sad news from Tamil Nadu that Santhosh's eldest son, Bobby John, died last night.

Bobby John had been an invalid ever since we first met him as a result of an operation for a brain tunour that left him seriously paralysed.  His family were dedicated to him, and he was unwittingly the inspiration for Asha Kiran Ashram: his disability led Santhosh to enquire about how many other children in his area were disabled, and this in turn led to the founding of Asha Kiran Ashram, our special needs school and home for disabled children.  This has gone from strength to strength since the present buildings were put up, financed by HHI, in 2009.  HHI continues to provide much of the running costs for the building, and Santhosh raises the rest locally and through his contacts around the world.

Please pray for the family as they mourn their loss.

Wheelchairs

wheelchair, charity, Zambia, disabled

Every year or so we send a 40 foot container to our partners in Zambia crammed full of all sorts of things that we have been given and which they desperately need.

What they need most is wheelchairs.  Good (European) quality wheelchairs are unobtainable in Zambia, so Jonah and our friends in Zambia are completely reliant on us to send them.  There is a huge demand for wheelchairs, as many people are disabled.  Without a wheelchair they have no choice but to stay at home, usually in abject poverty; but with a wheelchair they can get out and about, interact with people, and even hold down a job.

A few years ago we were given a good number of wheelchairs, and we were able to send out between 100 and 200 every year.  They were all given away to very grateful recipients in Zambia.  But recently the supply has dried up - last year we could only send out about 40, and this year we have even fewer.

So, do you know of any wheelchairs that we could have?  They need not be new, and even if they need a bit of work on them we have a man in Monze who will repair them or cannibalise them to keep other wheelchairs going.  Even if it is just one, then that will make a difference to one more person in Zambia, transforming their life.  If you do have any, please let us know and we will be around like a shot to collect it.

Many thanks!

Everyone's a Winner: the SFHHI Bridge Drive

Zambia, India, Bridge, Strathaven, Medical charity

This year the SFHHI Bridge drive was held on the 7th May at the Outreach Community Church in Strathaven. After a light lunch, the serious Bridge action got underway just before 2pm.  A total of 68 participants took to the tables, with 40 playing the serious game and 28 appearing to be there just for the food, a good natter and to play some cards if time permitted!
There were a number of generous donations made prior to and during the event, and with these and the ticket entries, raffle monies and lunch donations, a total of £1,163 was raised for HHI.
There were many generous raffle donations from the Strathaven Community, including prizes from Sainsbury’s and Taylors, the local baker, who provided a superb cake with the HHI logo that was presented to the “lucky” ticket holder.
The event concluded around 4:30pm after a short “HHI Update” presentation from Iain Park, the raffle, and a vote of thanks from Kath Russell, with everyone looking forward to the next Bridge drive.  A special thanks must be said to Ian Gow and his team of excellent caterers for preparing a bountiful repast, and to Helen Baird for ensuring the raffle was the usual success.
So, who were the winners?  Well, the real winners are those people who will benefit from this enjoyable afternoon – the most needy people in Zambia and South India.  As the work that we support becomes better known people are coming from far and wide for help, and the needs and opportunities are increasing – the latest being the drought in Africa that has badly affected the Monze area.
So thank you SFHHI for making it possible to meet more of these needs!

Muumba School Report: Steady progress is being made in all areas.

Muumba fence progress

As you can see from the photographs the building of the school wall, which was held up because of the hard dry soil, is now well underway.  In addition to this, work has now been completed on the secure room in which government exam papers may be stored.  This room was essential because without it, as in the case of the installation of the toilets, official government registration cannot be granted to the school.

Our ‘Knitting Brigade’ is still eagerly awaiting information about the colour of the school uniform and as soon as we hear about the school registration and are told the colour has been decided, we will be in touch!  

A Talented Teacher

Muumba School pupils Uniforms

If you have already looked through the March 2016 Tidings you will see that the Week 12 article (June 12 – 18) features the disabled teacher, Prisca Hatembo, who is currently salaried as a volunteer teacher in Muumba school.  Prisca was supported as a school pupil and through her teacher training by HHI and is now working in the school built by the Muumba community with HHI funding.  As you know, the school is well on its way to fulfilling the necessary criteria in order to gain government registration, and those of you who knit for HHI are awaiting the go ahead for the school colours to be decided.

We have just received more news complete with a photograph of two children dressed in grey pinafore dresses and we are told that these dresses were made by teacher Prisca. A talented teacher indeed.

Late Rains - Poor Harvest

Maize field in February

For some time there has been talk in Zambia about the prospect of hunger. This is because the rains were expected to be late this year – yet again.  So, when it finally started raining we were relieved. We believed that the harvest would not be as bad as we had feared and that staple foods would be affordable.  However, we have been sent photographs showing how poor the maize crops are as a result of the parched soil, and now our fears have been realised.  Food has become more expensive and is out of the reach of the needy and vulnerable people in Monze and the surrounding area.

Recently, our ‘Beneficiaries Committee’ in Zambia requested additional funds to enable them to help those in desperate situations. We are able to do this because of the continuing generosity of our steadfast supporters. On behalf of those we seek to serve we say a huge ‘Thank you’.

The Personal Touch

Winifiridah at her machine

Many of the items we pack at Mamhilad are labelled for dispatch to people who have particular needs.  So, when our Zambian colleagues requested a sewing machine for a blind lady called Winifreda, who lived in Pemba, we duly loaded a treadle machine labelled ‘Winifreda. Blind lady Pemba.’

You can imagine our delight when last week we received a photograph of Winifreda using her ‘new’ machine.  We were also pleased to see the label we had attached to her machine when we were loading the container in Mamhilad.  It was a case of job well done!

However, the real satisfaction came because one loyal supporter enabled this individual request to be met.  This typifies the personal touch which is part of our HHI remit.  Thank you. 

Scanner donation from Deeside League of Friends

Scanner donated to HHI by Deeside League of Friends

Five years ago HHI received a scanner donated by the Deeside League of Friends in North Wales.The machine is still operating in Gwembe District Hospital in Zambia. Now, five years on, the machine replacing the one in Gwembe is about to start its journey to Monze Mission Hospital. The hospital is desperate to have the scanner becase their own is now unusable. So you can imagine how grateful we are to receive our second scanner thanks to the generosity of the League of Friends. Due to the urgency and because we missed the last container (sent October 2015) we can't wait for the next one this autumn. HHI will be air freighting the scanner in the next few weeks. We are also very grateful to many people in the Deeside and North Wales area for private donations and fund raising which has raised over £500 towards freight costs.  Thank you.

India update

Tom Sutherland, hospital work Trivandrum Thiruvananthapuram Kerala India

A recent story from Tom Sutherlands illustrates just how important our work in India is.

Tom was approached by a family of a girl in the hospital.  She had been bitten by a viper, and had been lying in her hospital bed for three weeks without any improvement.  A course of three injections had been prescribed, but the family was unable to afford the cost - Rs. 3860 (about £40) each.  Using some of the money we send out each month, Tom was able to buy a single injection, and the change was dramatic - she was soon sitting up in bed and eating.  I have said that we will pay for the other two injections as well, confident that the funds for this, and all our other work, will come in.

The 2016 Container


The 2016 Container
We are frequently asked lots of questions about the type of items we need for the container and we have already begun collecting items from people and organisations, near and far, ready for our 2016 container. Our storage facility is beginning to look healthy! Here is a list of those items which will be very welcome.
 
HHI 2016 Container list;

Wheelchairs, zimmer frames, crutches and walkers,

hospital furniture, portable screens, cord clamps, suction machines,

digital scales for clinics, waterproof mattress covers, nappies, incontinence pads,

sterile bandages and dressings still in packaging, painkillers and paracetamol (with long life date),

reading glasses (not prescription glasses),

large blankets, knitted school jerseys - V neck or pullovers (in navy or grey,)

soap, toothpaste & tooth brushes,

sturdy child’s pushchair for use with disabled children,

walking sticks, and white canes.