Saving the Lives of Children

Children and babies are the most vulnerable members of our human community. When a child is born we are happy and we welcome them with excitement. Then we must do everything necessary to provide the proper care for their wellbeing. Yet, each year, millions of children die needlessly. It is a fact! In Africa, one child dies of malaria every 29 seconds.

For many years Triple Gem has provided medical equipment and health care supplies to several needy countries with the major focus in Africa. In September, 2005 we donated two incubators to hospitals in Kenya. Maragwa District Hospital received one incubator and the second was donated to Kerugoya District Hospital. These hospitals average 15-20 births a day and a high percentage of those births are pre-mature.

Kerugoya District Hospital is located in Kenya, about an hour and a half from the capital, Nairobi. On my first visit to this hospital, I was saddened to see the 15 pre-mature babies in the ward that day. These babies, wrapped in blankets were lying in metal bins next to a small electric heater which was the only source of heat. Some were so small, weighing only a pound or pound and a half and only 8-10 inches long, they were so helpless. The need for immediate and proper care was obvious if they were to survive.

When I asked about the poor conditions and the lack of essential equipment to care for the babies, the staff nurse said, “lots of babies die here especially those who are too weak to survive without an incubator”. I immediately told the doctors that I would supply one and began to make plans to have it transported within a few days. The doctors and nurses were so excited and happy. One doctor told me “this incubator will save the lives of so many babies”. I know he is right.

Incubators are expensive. New machines can cost as much as $35,000. That’s why many hospitals in Africa do not have them. The one we donated to Kerugoya District Hospital is the first and only incubator in the district. This district has a population of over 457,000 people.

As we rejoice the blessing that we have brought to many families and their babies with the donation of the incubators we are reminded that such good work is also the result of many dedicated hard working people. Acquiring the equipment, financing, shipping to Africa and preparing the documents require energy, time and money.

I would like to thank Rabbi Allen Tuffs and his congregation of Temple Beth El in Hollywood Florida for sponsoring the incubators. We worked together patiently for several months to bring this dream to reality. Several volunteers helped us to organize the shipment and get it out of the USA. Triple Gem Society paid for the shipping and related expenses to transport the units to Africa. When the equipment arrived in Kenya, customs clearance, transportation costs and the storage facilities were provided by Phylnormel Foundation under the guidance of office manager Mrs. Michele.

With the billions of dollars that are spent each year to produce weapons to destroy and kill people, if we say we cannot find the resources needed to prevent the deaths of our children, the international community should feel shame.

Let us hope that in this new year the rich and prosperous nations and the international community as a whole will understand that our future is in our hands and allocate the money and resources needed to stop the death of our children. It is the repsonsibilty of all of us to take care of one another. The neighbor next door and the neighbor across the world. Thank you for your continued support and generosity. May all beings be free from pain and suffering.

With love and blessings,
Bhante Wimala