A fundraiser being held in the city at the weekend aims to raise money for a nutrition clinic in Zambia, South Africa.
Immunisation 4 Life, a charity set up in 2009 by a group of Galway health professionals, is hosting the event.
The organisation aims to set up immunisation programmes and child health clinics for under fives in the poorer countries of the world. It is also committed to providing teams to support existing charities and non government organisation in emergency and developing situations.
The group consists of experienced public health nurses and doctors with Dr Kevin Connolly, a former consultant paediatrician at Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe as medical director. Founder members include Maura Moran, public health nurse, Headford; Carmel Whiriskey, midwife and general nurse, Loughrea; Corrine Mannion, midwife, Galway; Katherine Farrell, public health nurse, Barna; Marilyn Kelly, assistant director of public health nursing, Galway; Mary Holian, former public health nurse, Tuam; and Maeve Gacquin, senior dietician, Galway Clinic.
In 2011, Immunisation 4 Life created a partnership with a well-established charity in Zambia called the NERI Clinics. These are managed by two Irish GPs and run by health professionals from Zambia. To date a group of 21 volunteers from Immunisation 4 Life has made three trips to the clinics. The average trip lasts for 10 days and the volunteers take holidays from work and pay for the trip themselves.
Maura Moran, one of the founder members, says in addition to focusing on immunisation the group is also very interested in addressing the problem of malnutrition. This is not just a case of lack of food but rather lack of appropriate food, she explains.
“Without this clinic many of the children with severe malnutrition would be referred to the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka where they would be admitted for at least eight weeks. A family member, usually the mother has to stay with the child which is disruptive to family life and could compromise the wellbeing of other children at home. And also unfortunately the mortality rates are very high at 30 per cent.”
She hopes Saturday night’s event will raise enough money to fund the nutrition clinic for a year. Tickets cost €15 for adults and children are free.
For further information on Immunisation 4 Life or to buy a ticket contact Mauran Moran at (093 ) 36867. Tickets may also be purchased on the night.