Edgerton Hospital Giving Medical Equipment To Hospital In Africa

A Rock County hospital is recycling old equipment and helping needy people Africa.

Getting medical care can be a challenge for some of the poorest people living in east Africa, especially when the closest hospital has outdated equipment and lacks basic medical supplies.

“When you’re sick, the last thing you want to do is sleep on an old mattress or a bed that’s falling apart,” said Laurie McCutchan, executive director of the Hope Institute of Uganda.

McCutchan has seen the need firsthand at St. Francis Hospital in Uganda.

“It’s a 120-bed hospital; they serve 400,000 people. They have three, four doctors and 30 nurses. They are stretched and working all the time,” McCutchan said.

To help, Edgerton Hospital’s medical supplies donations are helping patients a world away.

McCutchan’s warehouse space is full of beds, surgical lights and other supplies to be shipped to the hospital in Africa.

“This is just the biggest donation we’ve ever had,” McCutchan said.

Edgerton Hospital CEO Jim Pernau said he doesn’t know how much the donated equipment is worth.

“We were able to build a new hospital, and then we thought, ‘Well, what are we going to do with all the old equipment?'” Pernau said.

He said it was easy for the hospital’s board to approve the donation.

“We’re a nonprofit. We don’t get a tax write-off for doing this. This is strictly coming from our heart,” Pernau said.

McCutchan said these supplies from the hospital and the community will be a lifesaver to hospitals with thousands of leprosy and HIV patients.

“This is really wonderful, because we’ve been getting a lot of stuff. People just didn’t know where to go with it,” McCutchan said.

The collection drive wraps up at the end of this month so they can ship the containers to Uganda in January.

The hospital was able to get a grant to pay for the cost of the four containers they are sending. It will take about 45 days for them to arrive in Africa.

Those who have bed linens or medical equipment they wish to donate may contact Laurie McCutchan at the Hope Institute of Uganda at 608-314-3950.

Bed linens are being collected at Edgerton Hospital. For details, people should contact Sherri Smithback at the hospital.

For more information on the Hope Institute of Uganda, go to http://www.hopeinstituteuganda.org/.