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This weekend the music pumps...for Pumps For Haiti!
This Friday night will see an evening of fun and music at the Miners’ Hall featuring food, drink art (local and Haitian) and music by local musicians. And amidst the revels, Pumps For Haiti will be holding a benefit designed to raise money to distribute and install around 200 electronic intravenous pumps donated by local hospitals in Haitian medical facilities.
The drive is being spearheaded by Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRD)
nurse Andrew O’Kane. O’Kane, who has been volunteering in Haiti over the last two years, spoke with the Telegraph last week.
“We formed Pumps for Haiti in June, 2012 when a large amount of medical equipment became available at no cost,” said O’Kane. “Interior Health hospitals had decided to purchase a new model of IV pumps and the associated tubing and other equipment and would be disposing of all their existing equipment--pumps, tubing, etc. I had been to Haiti several times over the past two years, volunteering as an emergency nurse and I knew these supplies are very hard to come by there. I decided to take all the pumps and supplies from the West Kootenay area and raise the money to ship it down.”
Local health bodies were quick to respond to O’Kane’s appeal. “Kootenay-Boundary area hospitals have donated approximately 200 Baxter intravenous infusion pumps. These electronic pumps have been replaced with newer models but are still functioning and can be used for years to come in Haiti where the health care system struggles to find funding and supplies.”
Distribution of the pumps will be effected in conjunction with the non-profit organization Global Disaster Immediate Response Team (Global DIRT). There are also plans for the training of nurses and ongoing maintenance of this equipment.
Once the necessary funds are raised, the pumps will be shipped to Miami and then to Port au Prince with the assistance of Project Medishare, another non-profit health care organization operating in Haiti. In addition, a number of local nurses from our region have volunteered to travel at their own expense to Haiti to provide training to Haitian nurses in the use of this equipment.
Said O’Kane, “We have raised over $3000.00 so far. This will cover the cost of trucking everything from Trail to Miami. We’ve also partnered with the organization Project Reddish who will add our supplies to their shipment from Miami to Port au Prince. Global DIRT will receive and store the shipment at their compound in Port au Prince.
“We plan to send volunteer nurses to Haiti to work with Global DIRT distributing the equipment to hospitals and training the Haitian nurses to use the pumps. Our second phase of fundraising is to support this distribution and training and will cover the cost of fuel, our drivers and interpreters' wages, extra supplies and the volunteers' room and board. The nurses will all pay their own airfare and work for free.”
“It is important that medical aid of this kind be donated appropriately with the right support. We hope that by working with the Haitian nurses we can assist them to be better able to provide high quality care to their patients.”
So there you have it: a worthy cause indeed. In addition to good karma, the evening will also feature a licensed bar hosted by Rossland Rotary Club, food catered by Pumps for Haiti volunteers, a silent auction featuring original Haitian and local artwork and other items donated by local businesses, door prizes and music performed by The White Crows, Laela Heidt and Robin O'Kane.
The Pumps for Haiti Benefit Night will be held Friday, Sept 21 from 7 pm - midnight at the Rossland Miners Hall. Tickets are $8.00 advance, $10.00 at the door and are available at Powderhound in Rossland, Gerick Cycle and Scotiabank in Trail and from Pumps for Haiti volunteers at KBRH.
The group’s fundraising goal is $6,000.00 for freight, distribution and training costs.You can support this project by donating to “Pumps for Haiti” at any Kootenay Savings branch or mail donations to: Pumps for Haiti, 409 Forrest Drive, Trail, BC V1R 2H1.
A poster for this event is attached to the bottom of this article.