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Local Doctors Donate X-Ray Machine to Zimbabwe

Local Doctors Donate X-Ray Machine to Zimbabwe

Imagine having fallen and broken your leg. When you arrive at the local hospital, they tell you their x-ray machine is broken so just go home, lie still in bed for six weeks while it heals; hopefully reasonably straight. This is the situation in most of rural Zimbabwe.

As the medical system in Zimbabwe slowly falls apart due to lack of funding, hospitals have no way to repair broken diagnostic equipment including x-ray machines. The Kutama Father O’hea Memorial Hospital in rural Zimbabwe is typical; it has been without a functioning x-ray machine for several years. 

This situation will soon be resolved with a used, but still useful semi digital x-ray machine, very generously donated by Thunder Bay doctors, shipped by Thunder Bay’s Medical Equipment Modernization Opportunity (MEMO) and reinstalled in Zimbabwe by the Canadian Zimbabwe Gecko Society headed by Susan Janetti.

The still very useful machine has a market value of $30,000 and was donated by NuView Radiology and Ultrasound Centre owned by Dr. F. Nigro, Dr. Chris Allison and Dr A. Abu Bakare operating out of the Port Arthur Health Centre.

The machine was functioning perfectly well but was replaced with a state-of-the-art machine in 2023. Dr. Frank Nigro, head of the group of doctors who owned the machine, said he just didn’t have the heart to see it sent to the scrap yard and so, when it was decommissioned in 2022, it was stored in the basement of the clinic. While visiting Dr. Nigro for a medical appointment, he asked me if MEMO could find a place for it. It would require a properly lead shielded x-ray room with 480-volt electric service and a trained x-ray technician for its operation. Kutama Father O’hea Memorial Hospital in rural Zimbabwe was identified by Susan Janetti of the Zimbabwe Gecko Society as fitting the criteria and she agreed to supervise its installation.

MEMO, a ministry of Grace Church Thunder Bay agreed to crate it and pay the shipping cost to Zimbabwe. Dr. Nigro agreed to raise the $10,000 required to have it installed properly in Zimbabwe. His comment was, “It is so satisfying to know that this medical equipment will help patients in Zimbabwe.”

The x-ray machine will start its journey to Zimbabwe November 4 when MEMO sends ocean container number 105 via truck to Toronto, CN rail to Montreal, ship to Mozambique, train to Zimbabwe’s capital Harare, and finally truck to Kutama. You can be a part of this ministry by clicking on “Donate” for directions on various ways to contribute to this project.

Thank you Thunder Bay, for once again diverting what could have been scrap, to life-enhancing and life-saving equipment in another corner of our global village.

Dr. Jerome Harvey

Tom Baxter, Operations Manager for MEMO accepts documentation from clinic Manager Kim Pizzolato on the digital x-ray machine donated by NuView Radiology and Ultrasound Centre.
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