TOUCHED after seeing a patient eating mealie meal porridge with her fingers, a Bulawayo woman extended a donation of pieces of cutlery to Mpilo Central Hospital in order to ensure they are also safe from contracting covid-19.
She said in light of Covid19, it was a risky venture to have patients eating using their bare hands.
Ms Zaydah Randen who works for a local manufacturing company pooled funds together and purchased spoons, forks, knives, plastic dishes and buckets that she handed over to the Hospitals acting clinical director Dr Xolani Ndlovu.
"I came here to visit someone who was in the maternity ward and I saw a woman who had just been admitted and on admission she was hungry and the only thing that was available was porridge but there was no cutlery. I asked the nurse who was there and she said there were no spoons so she had to eat with her fingers.
"I was shocked at that response and I told them I was going to come back with cutlery, and I have come back now to assist," she said.
Ms Randen said she, with the assistance of some of her friends used social media to look for donations of cutlery and their cries where heard.
"I used social media to source some of the cutlery and a number of people came through from as far as Australia. They shipped through some cutlery that we have brought here today and I am grateful for their support as they hospital will now be able to give patients cutlery," she said.
One of the people who partnered with her for this cause has pledged to do more for the institution.
"A lady from Australia has partnered me and said they want us to be a friend of the hospital and we donate more so we are currently on a mission to find out some of the things that the hospital uses from day to day so that we source what we have locally and from abroad. She said she did not know how she could assist but I have become the link that will assist," said Ms Randen.
She said covid-19 was real and vulnerable people such as patients needed to be kept safe.
"Covid19, according to what health experts are saying is attacking people with underlying conditions so when one is ill and in hospital they are at risk of contracting the virus. So if they touch contaminated surfaces and eat using those same hands then they are in trouble. So the cutlery will enable them to eat without using their hands which maybe contaminated, " said.
Coronavirus can live for a considerable amount of time on hard surfaces and will still be infectious.
She said she will not stop at the cutlery donation but will do more as and when she can with the assistance of her friends in the city and beyond.
Ms Randen who is a philanthropist in her own way is also involved in care work where she looks after the elderly.
"I help in looking after the elderly on weekends when I am not at work. I go and assist in various tasks that will be required by the elderly in the city and I use my own resources, it is on a voluntary basis. If I could be given an opportunity I would like to have a home for abandoned children and also one for the elderly.
"There are 15 year olds that get pregnant and do not know what to do with the child, I would want to have a center where they discreetly come and drop off their children and walk away rather that throwing the new borns in pits and bushes. I would want to give these children a chance and care for them, " she added.
The acting clinical director of Mpilo Central Hospital said the gesture came in good time.
"Such gestures are very welcome because as a public hospital we have challenges in terms of resources, this donation will have us redirect resources that were going to be used to purchase cutlery to more core business in terms of medicines.
This is not a small gesture; it's a big one especially to the person who has to eat hot porridge with bare hands. We consider these as consumables.
I am happy the lady said this is not the first and last of her visits here. We encourage all people that have Mpilo at heart to come through and assist where ever they can," said Dr Ndlovhu.