Ambulance donation to aid charity work in Africa
An unusual alliance has seen St John Ambulance WA (SJAWA) team up with a Perth charity and KISS bass player Gene Simmons to deliver medical care to Zambia.
SJAWA has donated an ambulance to Health Hope Zambia, a charity run by Perth man Brendan Clark.
The vehicle, a Mercedes Sprinter, had been in service at the Jurien Bay Cervantes Sub Centre until recently. The ambulance has been named “Holmes” in dedication to the late Clive Holmes and his wife Gillian, both long term SJAWA volunteers in the Wheatbelt.
Mr and Mrs Holmes, originally came from Zimbabwe and neighbouring Zambia respectively, so they were supportive of the work Mr Clark was doing.
Mrs Holmes presented the ambulance to Mr Clark on behalf of SJAWA this week.
Also at the presentation was SJAWA Fleet and Radio Communication Manager John Watts who said he expected the ambulance to be an invaluable asset for Mr Clark.
“Brendan has already made a significant humanitarian difference in Zambia with his mobile medical clinic and this ambulance should bolster his efforts and we are proud to be able to assist in this way,” he said.
Mr Watts said St John also donated defibrillators, oxygen equipment, wheel chairs, stretchers, blankets and boxes of consumable medical equipment.
He praised the sub centre chairman Greg Martin and Peter Pendlebury from Cervantes for going out of their way to assist in the worthwhile project.
Health Hope Zambia founder Brendan Clark said he was overwhelmed to receive the ambulance.
“I’m blown away by this donation and the potential to work with SJAWA,” he said.
“This will give us the best ambulance in Zambia.”
Mr Clark said his charity had recently formed a partnership with Simmons who was already involved in charity work in the African country.
“Health Hope Zambia has been coordinating a children feeding program with Gene, and due to the success of that program that provides more than 100,000 meals a year he was keen to get involved with the medical side of our charity and he has agreed to pay half the operating costs of this donated ambulance,” Mr Clark said.
Health Hope Zambia has treated more than 8000 people since launching last September, using another former SJAWA ambulance as a mobile medical centre. It has responded to medical emergencies and treated conditions such as malaria, diarrhoea, chicken pox and it also has an advanced HIV/AIDS program.