Day Six

"The greatness of a communityis most accurately measured bythe compassionate actions of itsmembers, a heart of grace and asoul generated by love." -Coretta Scott King Today our delegation toured the Mitchell's Plain Medical Centre serving several townships in and around Mitchell's Plains township. Due to high unemployment and impoverished citizens, the area has become known for its high crime rate. The medical staff of 195 sees an average of 2,000 patients per day, has 3,500 stable HIV/AIDS patients on antiretroviral drugs and deliver approximately 2,500 babies per year.  The women who give birth typically leave the centre six hours after the birth of their child. This is always an impressive tour as we see the pride and professionalism with which this staff serves the community. As you may have read on this blog, each year our delegates pack an extra 50 pounds of medical supplies to take to South Africa for use at hospitals and clinics.   In addition to Mitchell's    Plains, this year we have a new destination for some of those supplies.  We are excited to  announce the start up of a Wellness Centre at the JLZwane Centre under the direction of Zethu Xapile, (Rev. Spiwo Xaplie's wife and manager of Mitchell's  Plains Community Health Centre) . AIAIA has purchased  medical equipment for this Wellness Centre and a portion of the donated medical supplies will be used there. Dr. Chris Downey, Fr. James Cassidy and Eileen Kielblock, who work at Allina Heath Hospice in the Twin Cities, returned to St. Luke's Hospice in Kenilworth and spent time with the nursing leaders and the Spiritual Care director.  St. Luke's has upwards of 900 patients spread out over metropolitan Cape Town as well as the  Townships. The program, which often times has a waiting list is managed by the compassionate 250 employees and 300 volunteers. The team spoke of their challenges with getting care to the Townships, yet they are willing to do what they need to do to provide their loving and professional care. DSC_0989Although our hospice programs are geographically miles apart, it was interesting to learn we have many similarities and concerns. All agreed this is a tremendous partnership with a lot of learning to be shared as we deepen our relationship with our new Global Partners. We're preparing to leave our family and friends here in Cape Town as we take a two day journey by bus to Malungeni with a stop overnight in Port Elizabeth. It has been a joyous reunion of old friends and a delight to meet new. We leave them with blessings for good health, hope for the future and the love of our common bond. Peace and blessings, The 2015 AIAIA Delegation