Port Elizabeth – A heavy-duty industrial washing machine and tumble dryer, donated by General Motors South Africa (GMSA) and delivered today (Tuesday, 4 November) to the Aloe Igazi Ward at Provincial Hospital, will help to lighten the scrub load for the Igazi Foundation’s hard working haematological services team.
Cole Cameron, Igazi Executive Officer, said the washing and drying system – worth approximately R120 000 – had been a priority on the foundation’s wish list.
“Initially, we’ll set it to work on our heavy daily wash load of doctors’ scrubs in the Aloe Igazi Ward. We are still hoping to have our paediatric ward up and running by 2015, so the machines will need to service additional loads there too.”
The donation was driven by GMSA’s Employee Benefits Division, whose mantra ‘Touch a Life’ extends beyond employees to include an all-round focus on the health and wellness of the company’s extended community.
Malaine Hop Hing, GMSA Manager, Benefits and Services, said the division had made cancer its theme this year, participating in the ‘Little Fighters for Cancer’ initiative by donating fleecy blankets to children and Provincial and Dora Nginza hospitals. “We asked the Igazi Foundation how we could best assist and this is how we came to answer their call for an industrial washing machine and tumble dryer.
“In fact, we took our support for the foundation’s work even further: Mario Spangenberg (President and Managing Director of General Motors Africa) inspired a huge GMSA turnout of 375 entrants for Algoa FM’s recent Big Walk for Cancer, the proceeds of which have gone to assisting the Igazi Foundation,” Hop Hing said.
Chris Thexton, Vice President of Human Resources for GM Africa said, “As a large employer and significant contributor to the local economy, GMSA is deeply conscious of its responsibilities as a leading corporate citizen.
“Health and wellness are issues that have a socio-economic impact beyond the company’s own premises and workforce, and GMSA’s approach is to extend its reach into the community.”
Medical equipment, a specialist temperature controlled fridge, as well as a revamp of the ward interiors are all high on Igazi’s wish list too. Cameron said the support from community and business in Port Elizabeth had been “phenomenal”.
As the only dedicated haematological services NGO in the country, the Igazi Foundation champions the improvement of blood cancer and blood disease services for sufferers and their families. Launched in the Eastern Cape in 2010, the foundation is now internationally recognised. The Aloe Igazi Unit became fully operational late last year and the foundation is currently lobbying for the establishment of a paediatric oncology unit in the same hospital, which will save children with cancer having to travel to Cape Town’s Red Cross Hospital for treatment.
“Igazi is people-powered! We were born in the Eastern Cape and I’m proud of the way our local community has rallied to make the foundation’s dreams a reality,” said Cameron.
“My sincere thanks go to GMSA for its support as a big player in the region and, in particular, for its donation of these much-needed machines today.”
Press release first paragraph