Dr. Stephanie Su Huang, Northern California Medical Associates Otolaryngologist (ENT) was originally part of a volunteer medical team led by Dr. Jim Palleschi to work at Chidamoyo hospital in June of 2017. Chidamoyo Christian Hospital is a remote hospital serving a rural poor population in northwest Zimbabwe. Despite many challenges and with the help of international volunteers, it has become a full-service hospital that serves approximately 70,000 patients a year through its in-patient and out-patient services.
Dr. Huang says she served patients at the Chidamoyo hospital for just two weeks, and the experience was life changing. “I watched firsthand countless patients walking in the dark from remote villages (some 200km away), and with no complaint, these patients waited patiently for hours to days to be seen. The resilience they exhibited left me speechless. Something magical happened on that trip, and from that moment, I knew that I had to return. In April of this year my sons, Lucas and Julian, joined me on a second trip to help those less privileged.” Dr. Huang and her two sons have since set up a fundraiser with the goal of reaching $40,000 in donations with funds going toward the purchase of a new ambulance for the beleaguered community.
“The Chidamoyo Hospital is desperately in need of a new ambulance,” explains Dr. Huang. “The current ambulance is 12 years old and has traveled 273,570 miles on unpaved dirt rocky roads full of potholes that only continue to get worse every year. And the only paved portion of the road has not been serviced or maintained in over 37 years. The ambulance is utilized about eight times per week and covers a range up to 200 miles per trip. On its most recent journey, two windows fell off, one on the poor patient (who fortunately was not harmed), and the other on the dirt road.
*Photos courtesy of Kathy McCarty FNP
Zimbabwe is a country of around 13 million with over 90 percent unemployment leaving most people to live a life of poverty and struggle. Chidamoyo Christian Hospital has been in operation for more than 50 year and receives no funding or support from the Zimbabwe government. The hospital, clinic, outreach programs, and HIV research projects rely heavily on the lifelong dedication and support of Kathy McCarty. Kathy a Nurse Practitioner who has been working at the rural mission hospital for 38 years. She serves as chief medical officer and won the Pediatric Nursing Association’s Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2008 for her work with the rural poor children of Zimbabwe. Prior award winners include Paul Newman and former First Lady, Roslyn Carter.
“Please join us to help these poor and needy patients and give them a chance to receive the medical care that could save their lives by making a donation to the Chidamoyo hospital.” To make a donation visit the Help Chidamoyo Christian Hospital Purchase a New Ambulance page on the YouCaring network (or follow the Donate Now button below). Donations have so far exceeded $9,000 of the $40,000 goal. All donations are tax-deductible.
More about Chidamoyo hospital:
Excerpts from New York Times Article 12/19/2010 By CELIA W. DUGGER
Here in this rustic outpost with no phone service and often no electricity, the Chidamoyo hospital and the people who rely on it have entered an unwritten pact to resist the tide of death that has carried away so many. Life expectancy in Zimbabwe, plagued by AIDS and poverty, has fallen to 47 years from 61 years over the past quarter century.
Patients provide the crops they grow and the animals they raise — food that feeds the thousands of patients who use the hospital — and the hospital tends to their wounds, treats their illnesses and delivers their babies. Its two doctors and 15 nurses see about 6,000 patients a month and have put 2,000 people with AIDS on life-saving antiretroviral medicines.
Short of cash like the people it serves, the hospital practices a level of thrift unheard of in the United States. Workers and volunteers steam latex gloves to sterilize them for reuse, filling the fingers with water to ensure against leaks. They remove the cotton balls from thousands of pill bottles to swab patients’ arms before injections. And they collect the tissue-thin pages of instructions from the same bottles for use as toilet paper.
Friends of Chidamoyo Facebook Page