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Relief for hospice after Health-e publishes their plight

Written by Ramatamo Sehoai

The critical care work done by the Alexandra Hospice will no longer be disrupted by the frequent power cuts experienced in the area thanks to the donation of blankets and a generator from African Bank.

This generous gift came after news that the hospice was facing an acute shortage of funds compounded by the need for bigger premises in order for them to carry out their work properly.

Located in the heart of Alexandra, the hospice and rehabilitation centre is home to many terminally ill patients in the township. The centre does profound work with limited resources.

Grace Marutlulle, the centre’s founder, breathed a huge sigh of relief when she heard they would be receiving a generator. The news came two months after Health-e reported how Marutlelle who used a  large chunk of her pension to start the hospice, was struggling to raise funds needed to meet some of the demands of running the organisation.

“Electricity here is never stable. We store large quantities of food, and it is so sad to see it all go to waste,” she said, explaining that apart from unnecessary wastage, power outages also impacted on their administrative work.

Working in the dark

She said it was difficult for staff to work in the dark.

“They can’t wash patients’ linen and it is worse in winter as patients need to stay in a warm space. Without a doubt, this generator will go a long way towards making our job easier,” Marutlulle said.  

African Bank branch’s manager, Reuben Mundonde said it felt good to be part of the local community through good and bad, and to plough some resources back to the people the bank serves.

“Our relationship with customers should not only be about a business transaction. We should be there in their times of challenge too,” he said.

Our relationship with customers should not only be about a business transaction. We should be there in their times of challenge too.

He said he had heard of the Hospice’s need for help after visiting the premises last year and seeing first hand the plight of patients. He then decided to pitch the idea of adopting the centre to his superiors and they gladly agreed.

“They are doing a wonderful job and they deserve all the help they get. Their challenges are huge and I’d like to appeal to other companies to join hands and help,” he said.

Munonde said African Bank would help with the upkeep of the generator, provide a technician to install it properly and donate 20 litres of fuel every month.

About the author

Ramatamo Sehoai

Ramatamo Sehoai is an award-winning community journalist from Alexandra Township who curved his health journalism at FrayIntermedia and Mail & Guardian. He has written for numerous publications as a freelancer and won fellowships. Ramatamo is one of our Gauteng based citizen journalists and hosts a weekly talk show at Alex FM. He is also studying towards a BA Honours in Journalism and Media studies at Wits University.