Hospital staff donate hundreds of crutches to African patients

Posted On 27 Apr 2017 at 10:58 pm

Staff at a hospital in Hove have donated hundreds of crutches to patients in Africa.

Montefiore Hospital physiotherapists Shane Ryder, centre left, and Gary Nicholson, centre right, with the African Appeal team, left to right, Mohmoud Aden, Nasser Soufi and Saeed Ali

The donation was organised by physiotherapists at the Spire Montefiore Hospital, in Hove, after hey collected more than 750 crutches over the past six months.

They will help patients who have been involved in car accidents or were caught up in the civil war in Somaliland, in East Africa.

Gary Nicholson, a physiotherapist with Radius Healthcare, which works in partnership with the Montefiore Hospital, said: “Our patients leave crutches with us once they no longer have use for them but we felt terrible just throwing them away.

“We made contact with a small charity called African Appeal that is now taking our crutches to Somaliland which is great news for the patients there.”

Strict British health and safety rules make it hard to reuse crutches here, with even charity shops reluctant to accept them from donors.

But all the crutches and walking aid equipment that has been donated was thoroughly checked by the Montefiore team and their African Appeal partners to ensure they were in working condition.

The equipment was then sent the 7,064 miles to Hargeysa, the capital of the Republic of Somaliland.

Nasser Soufi, a Bristol postman who is leading the African Appeal charity with his work colleagues, said: “There is a huge demand for this equipment in the main hospital in Hargeysa.

“When I visited last year, three crutches were being shared by several hundred people. Many are victims of car accidents as the roads in Somaliland are rough and hazardous.

“We are very grateful to the Montefiore helping us with this project.”

The African Appeal team have already made one trip to Hargeysa hospital and set off again on Wednesday 12 April for a second trip to deliver the crutches.

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