A RAMSEY woman who has recently returned from a trip to Africa has described it as a life changing experience.
Nicola Quayle went to Rwanda with friend Alison Taylor to see a new Aids clinic built with donations of more than £25,000 from the people of the Isle of Man.
‘It was the most amazing experience I have ever encountered,’ revealed Nicola. ‘Our first appointment was at the clinic in Kabuga to hear how well the clinic is doing and to be shown what services are available.
‘Towards the end of our trip we asked to return to the clinic to meet with a builder and architect to discuss the drawings to extend the clinic as due to the high demand of services they had outgrown the facility already in place.’
Ms Quayle said they had worked with the Ramsey-based charity Drop Inn Ministries, which has a shop on North Shore Road, to raise the money needed to build the clinic.
The charity had worked with the Rwandan organisation Solace Ministries which provides support for the poor in the country and in particular victims of the 1994 genocide arising out of the conflict between Hutu and Tutsi forces.
In the wake of the genocide came poverty, hardship and disease – particularly HIV and AIDS.
‘Some people had lost everything, including their entire families, and there were a lot of widows,’ she said.
Ms Quayle said her friend Alison Taylor, who was key in the fundraising effort, had been unable to attend the opening last year so instead the two women made the trip together earlier this year.
‘We were so shocked at how busy the clinic was as this clinic was initially built as an HIV and Aids clinic for the orphans and widows, and now they were training teams to be placed in communities to teach and explain family planning and basic hygiene. They already had a lot of people registered and receiving contraception,’ she said.
In addition to HIV and Aids support the clinic is already providing essential services going far beyond that. It provides a community health programme, family planning services, immunisation, laboratory screening, maternity care and a range of other medical services. It has also recently introduced a 24-hour call-out service. There are 17 members of staff and an expanding education programme will soon require extra accommodation.
Ms Quayle said she wanted to thank everyone who had helped and supported their aid efforts. As a result they had been able to supply 19 goats to various families. They were also supported by the WI who donated babies’ vests to be transported across with them.
‘My life will never be the same, I would like to thank everyone for the huge amount of support,’ she said.
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Weather for Isle of Man
Friday 24 May 2013
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