Our unwanted hospital supplies go to battling nation
OLD wind-up hospital beds that have long been replaced in Australian hospitals are being put to good use in a third-world hospital in South Sudan.
Justin Olany, the leader of the Acholi community in Queensland has partnered with Reverend Andrew Philip Oyet from New Hope Church and Rev Emil Rahimov from Queensland Baptist to collect the unused medical and hospital supplies.
Together they have already shipped one container full over to Pajok Hospital in South Sudan.
The idea came about after Rev Philip returned to his home country in 2013.
He left Sudan in 1995 because of the conflict and resettled in Australia in July 2003.
"The war affected us badly, and I am grateful to Australia for bringing refugees out here," he said.
"When I came here I developed a passion for helping people, so I got involved in the church and community."
In 2011, South Sudan became independent, but a trip back in 2013 showed Rev Philip how bad things were.
"I saw terrible poverty, a lack of medical supplies," he said.
"I visited a hospital, and they were putting mud on the ground and sleeping on it.
"It gave me the passion to do something, and that's when I spoke to Rev Emil to see if we could find some unwanted medical supplies."
Their first donation was a hospital bed, but before they knew it they had enough supplies to fill a shipping container.
That was sent over in June, and will arrive in the coming weeks.
Rev Rahimov said after Andrew approached him with the request he contacted Carinity home and aged care departments in his organisation, Queensland Baptist.
Rev Rahimov also contacted some other churches and private donor to help South Sudan.
"The response was overwhelming," he said.
"We had hospital beds, medical furniture and other equipment donated.
"We had donations of the old wind up beds, as well as some electrical, but we only took the wind-up ones because the hospital doesn't have electricity.
"The reality is a lot of this equipment would end up in the bins, so to be able to help some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in the world is fantastic."
Mr Olany said when Rev Philip told him about the idea, he got straight on board.
"Before the war broke out in South Sudan I was young, but it was horrible to see the effects when I went back in 2012-13," he said.
"The people there don't have the things they need, and we are trying to help improve the situation there."
Currently the trio have a shipping container on School Rd at Redbank Plains, which they hope to fill and send over in December.
If anyone has equipment they would like to donate, please phone 0469069474.