Volunteers are Changing Lives at a Rural District Hospital
Tintswalo Hospital is a 423-bed public hospital located in Acornhoek in Mpumalanga. It is one of the largest district hospitals in the province, serving a population of approximately 300 000 people, most of whom live in poverty without basic necessities.
“Our biggest challenge isn’t that we are busy, it’s that due to severe budget constraints we can only recruit junior doctors and nurses. If a senior or grade 3 staff member leaves, we often can’t replace them at all,” says Dr Maebela, Senior Clinical Manager at Tintswalo District Hospital.
“The Tshemba Foundation has had an incredibly positive impact on Tintswalo,” says Dr Maebela.
Volunteer groups cover a wide range of disciplines, from generalists to ophthalmologists that perform cataract surgeries and specialist researchers who are spearheading a Rural Ultrasound project. “We even had one international volunteer set up a funding project to renovate our emergency ward. That support is invaluable to us,” says Dr Maebela.
“Skills transfer and a continuous stream of volunteers has changed the landscape for us. We have a true partner that isn’t only trying to help – they are listening to what we need and making a meaningful impact.
“For anyone thinking of volunteering – please do,” says Dr Maebela. “Just a few days will not only change your life, which we’ve seen time and time again particularly from volunteers who come back each year, but it will also change the lives of our doctors and community. There are so many ways to add value, and the team at Tshemba can guide you around how you can make an impact.”