Successful Fundraiser Held in London for the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at KHMH
A fundraising gala held on Thursday, June 27, 2013, in London has raised over £65,000 (approximately $200,00 Belize dollars) to go towards the construction of a new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH).
The gala was organized through a partnership of the Belize Children’s Trust, which was recently formed by Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow and the Belize High Commission in London. The gala featured several local entertainers, including Pen Cayetano and family and was well attended by members of the Belizean Diaspora and friends of Belize.
Construction of a new wing of the hospital to house the PICU and a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit began in June 2013, and the funds raised will go a long way in making sure that critically ill children and newborn babies facing life-threatening complications have access to healthcare services that are currently unavailable in Belize.
The significance of this project is marked by the dismal infant mortality statistics and the countless cases of children who develop treatable conditions, but don’t survive due to the lack of accessible services and the high cost of travelling abroad for treatment. Currently, the KHMH has a very basic children’s ward, which is not equipped to care for critically ill children and there are limited infection control measures in place. The ward is also under staffed and in deteriorating physical condition.
The PICU is a top priority for the Belize Children’s Trust, which was formed to raise funds both locally and internationally for any project that benefits children. It will also assist children who are hungry, abandoned, abused or otherwise in need. The success of the Trust’s first fundraiser is a promising start and Mrs. Barrow sends heartfelt thanks to all who were involved in the planning and those who supported the event, especially the Belizean Diaspora in London.
The gala was the highlight of an official visit to London for which Mrs. Barrow was accompanied by Prime Minister Dean Barrow.