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Children's Hospital

On February 5 October 2011 Amanda participated and won the Vodafone Foundation's World of Difference competition for her anticipated project in Malawi. During her internship at the Nkhoma hospital in Malawi Amanda noticed the urgent need for a seperate space for children who were severely sick ; an intensive care unit.

Amanda: "In the rainy season we often had over a 100 children entering the hospital each day . Over 200 ernstig zieke kinderen hadden we per shift met 2 nurses. There were 4 to 6 children horizontal on a bed and all over the room were buckets to catch the water leaking from the roof. The space was enormously unhygienic, there was mold on the roof and there was a big lack of space. We barely had time to check the children on time, because of the long queue of waiting people. When a mother started to cry, we knew another child had died. I kept thinking: if we had a separate room where we could put the sickest children on a seperate bed, we would be able to monitore them better, and they amount off dying children would decrease. Often it turned out that when the mothers took their children of their back for examinations, the child had already died. Due to the incredible amount of people waiting for help, mothers had to wait too long and childen were dying before they even entered the hospital.

Once back home this situation kept crossing Amanda's mind and on the advise as well as the encouragement of her sister Nicole van Elteren, Amanda signed up for the World of Difference competition and she won. By 2012 with the help of many sponsors and a local team from Malawi, Amanda worked for 10 months to build-up the new children's ward. There was a lot of work to do, from making construction drawings to buying locally made bricks etc. But with the help of those involved, problems were overcome and the new ward became reality.. Besides managing the building project, Amanda worked full-time as a nurse at the hospital.

The new ward division is a world of difference compared to the old ward. There are now 2 hygienic rooms where children are admitted and where the sickest children are monitored. There is also a new system with a red and yellow seats. Severely sick children received at the emergency room a red card and are placed on the red seats, in order to get help first. New beds have been bought and new necessary equipment is purchased, There are 2 big basins, where burnt children can get help immidiately and there are new cabinets in order to seperate materials and medicines. The ward has got a new floor and a new roof is placed in..

According to statistics, in 2013, 20% less children have died compared to the year 2011. We hope that this percentage continues to decline and we are grateful that this contribution was due to the new ward. We thank all the people who helped!

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