The management of Port Shepstone Hospital has expressed its sincere appreciation to the Rotary Club for its unwavering support of survivors of rape and gender-based violence. The hospital recently hosted a delegation of Rotarians from Canada, who toured the Thuthuzela Care Centre at the hospital recently.
Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCC) are one-stop facilities that are located throughout the country. At Port Shepstone Hospital, TCC staff conduct outreach campaigns to encourage young and old people to report incidents of gender-based violence.
During the visit, the Roatarians got to familiarise themselves with how the facility functions. “The hospital’s Head of Forensic Services Dr Geraled Baldrey briefed the team, stating that Port Shepstone Hospital’s TCC is among 56 such centres in the country and the work that it performs is crucial in helping to secure the conviction of offenders. The centre provides survivors with a broad range of essential services from emergency medical care and counselling to preparing survivors in a holistic, integrated and victim-friendly manner,” Port Shepstone Regional Hospital Public Relations Officer Mrs P.P Morai said.
It works in collaboration with ChildLine – for children from 1 to 17 years and Lifeline – for 18 year olds and above. “We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and our services are free of charge,” stated Dr Baldrey.
The relationship with the Rotary Club started when Vanessa Howard-Tripp, President Ann of Port Shepstone Rotary, was driving along Port Shepstone and noticed a park home bearing a Rotary emblem, inside the hospital grounds. She decided to investigate and soon learned that the Park Home was donated by their Rotary Club to care for the victims of Gender Based Violence, especially survivors of rape.
She approached Dr Baldrey to find out how the Rotary Anns could help. Among the items most needed by the survivors were comfort packs, which are string bags containing essential toiletries. These bags assist when survivors have to take a bath after physical examination. The Rotary Anns then began providing these comfort packs to the Thuthuzela Care Centre – and have been doing so for the past 11 years.
Management of Port Shepstone Hospital remains immensely grateful for the support that it receives from the Rotarians, and wishes them well in all their endeavours.