10 December 2022

Local partnership to send medical aid to Uganda

By Chris Shearer

11 October 2021

MUCH-NEEDED medical supplies will soon leave Melbourne bound for a small Ugandan hospital, thanks to a partnership between an Anglican church and the Rotary Foundation. 

A consortium of Rotary clubs and St Stephen’s Anglican Church in Gardenvale has collected more than $300,000 worth of medical supplies which will go to Moyo General Hospital in Uganda. 

The small facility in the country’s north serves about 10,000 locals and around 300,000 South Sudanese people living in a nearby refugee camp.  

Two C Arm X Ray machines, ultrasound machines, autoclaves, hospital beds, and other essential medical supplies like bandages and hospital gowns, are among the goods being sent. 

The equipment drive began when church leaders heard about a Church Missionary Society doctor Neil Browning who had moved to Moyo in 2020, and found the facilities in great need of medical supplies. 

Dr Neil Browning at Moyo General Hospital

St Stephen’s Warden and Rotary member Bronwyn Stephens said she heard about this need from a friend who worshipped at St Stephen’s, who asked if she had capacity to help. 

Ms Stehen’s said to give her a wish-list. What followed next was extraordinary. 

“The things on Neil’s wish-list are very specialised so we thought we could get perhaps half of them but not all of them,” she said. 

“But as is with prayer, it was quite a ‘God-incidence’, that all of the things on the wish-list started arriving.  

“St Stephen’s involvement was critically important. Also parishioners were contributing funds once they knew about it, and in the shipping container I’ve got notes of encouragement and prayers, sealed envelopes and little gifts to encourage [Neil].” 

Ms Stephen’s said still on the wish-list for Moyo General Hospital was a fracture table, a kind of operating table specifically for broken bones.  

St Stephen’s parishioner Alex at the Donations in Kind warehouse

“They retail at about $80,000 each but they don’t wear out, they go on forever, so hospitals don’t donate them,” she said.  

She’s also hoping they’ll be able to send some laptop computers in the shipping container to donate to Moyo’s Kajo-Keji Christian College, where Dr Browning’s wife Sue works as a lecturer and mentor.  

Recent delays have prevented the goods from being shipped, but the consortium has secured a shipping container and hopes the supplies will be on their way in the next few weeks. It’s expected to spend six weeks at sea before arriving in Africa.   

Those who might be able to contribute in some way to the initiative are encouraged to reach out to treasurer@ststephensgardenvale.org.au  

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