Algoa Bay Rotary

My Life in Africa

Launch of the Aloe Igazi Haematology Unit, Port Elizabeth


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So a very memorable event that I went to recently was The Aloe Igazi Foundation‘s launch of the new  Haematology Ward at The Provincial Hospital in Port Elizabeth. It was a momentous occasion because it’s the very first Haematology Ward in the Eastern Cape! It cost R20-million to build. They had great food, champagne, TV cameras, press and guest speakers to give the launch proper justice after all the hard work that’s gone into its development. My mom and I attended the event together. She is the president of the Rotary Club of Algoa Bay (2011-2012) and many members of other Rotary clubs attended the event to show their support and congratulations. One of the guest speakers was the renowned Dr Neil Littleton who is a physician &  Head of the Department of Clinical Haematology at the Provincial Hospital. He is the recipient of a Paul Harris Recognition from the Rotary Club of Algoa Bay and was also the winner of the Herald’s Citizen of the Year (Business) title in 2010. There was a tour of the ward afterwards – I have included some of the official photos of the ward below, courtesy of the Foundation’s website. Dr Littleton carried out the first haematological stem cell transplant in the Eastern Cape in May 2010. And now stem cells are separated out in the Eastern Cape by the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) in Port Elizabeth. “Stem cell treatment is the future of medicine. Pioneering work is being done on using stem cells to treat all types of disease,” said Dr Neil Littleton.

The establishment of the Igazi Foundation in Nelson Mandela Bay grew out of the need to highlight the high incidence of blood diseases in the Eastern Cape, reads the media release for the Igazi Foundation, and it has sparked a research project into the causes of blood cancer in the province. Here are some great links to look at – articles with more information surrounding the new ward, it’s design, the key players involved in making it happen and The Igazi Foundation itself.

http://www.igazi.org.za/hot-news-1/r20mnewhaematologywardforbayhospital

http://www.igazi.org.za/hot-news-1

http://plwc.org.za/blog/2012/05/15/new-haematology-treatment-unit/

http://plwc.org.za/

Xxxx

Rotary

Rotary DG Dinner


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Preparations are underway here in Port Elizabeth for the annual Rotary DG dinner. With its motto ‘Service Above Self’, Rotary is an international non-profit organization for top professionals everywhere. I got the following explanations from Wikipedia and the Rotary International website, which explain everything beautifully.

“Rotary International is an organization of service clubs known as Rotary Clubs located all over the world. The stated purpose of the organization is to bring together business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. It is a secular organization open to all persons regardless of race, color, creed, gender, or political preference. There are 33,976 clubs and over 1.22 million members worldwide. The members of Rotary Clubs are known as Rotarians. Members usually meet weekly for breakfast, lunch or dinner, which is a social event as well as an opportunity to organize work on their service goals.”

The mission of The Rotary Foundation is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education and the alleviation of poverty. The Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world.

There are different districts all over the world, and different clubs in each district. Here in the central area  of South Africa and Lesotho (district 9320), the Algoa Bay Rotary club is the largest. My mother is its President this year. She oversees all the meetings and projects of a club of 71 members.Tonight the District Governor this year, Kevin Dersley, is visiting our club and we’re hosting a glorious dinner event held in his honour. Another exciting event Rotarians all over South Africa are looking forward to is the 2011 ‘Discon’ event… from the 29th of September to the 1st of October, held in my hometown of Port Elizabeth…