Group to send relief team to Kenya
Pretoria - Hospital group Netcare intends sending a team to drought-stricken Kenya to provide water, food and medical support.
"[We are] calling on corporate South Africa to render assistance to help the famine-ravaged east Africans," the company said in a statement on Monday, ahead of its "carefully conceived mission" to the Wajir district in the north-east of Kenya, where an estimated four million people faced starvation.
Mission co-ordinator James Crawford-Nutt said following meetings with the Kenyan ministry of health, and various NGOs involved in co-ordinating aid, Wajir was identified as the area where a corporate response would make the greatest difference.
Close to 13 million people were threatened by famine and many had died of hunger in the Horn of Africa.
Netcare planned a long-term initiative in the region, which would lead to the construction of 50 wells at a cost of R25 000 each and donations of food and medical equipment. It would also mobilise 24 medical volunteers to work in a local hospital on rotation for six months.
The mission would augment efforts by other humanitarian missions, such as those by the Gift of the Givers.
Netcare spokesperson Kerishne Naicker said: "As an African healthcare company we share in the responsibility to render assistance where it is so desperately needed.”
Crawford-Nutt said this was one way of ensuring the drought did not spread further into Africa.
"Our aim is to make this a sustainable project, which will not only contain the fast-spreading disaster, but also hopefully prevent a re-occurrence of this situation."