Funds: Cheshire faces closure

2018-11-08 06:01
Langa Cheshire Home manager Mnyamezeli Mbadlisa standing in front of the centre. PHOTOS: UNATHI OBOSE

Langa Cheshire Home manager Mnyamezeli Mbadlisa standing in front of the centre. PHOTOS: UNATHI OBOSE

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Langa’s first ever recuperation centre, the Langa Cheshire Home, is facing the threat of closure, unless urgent measures are taken to address the situation.

The centre, home to about 26 aged and frail inmates, was established 26 years ago, to provide help and assistance to deserving residents. They range in ages from 18 to 55 years old. The home has 18 permanent staff members and seven volunteers.

It has operational costs amounting to more than R132 000 and receives funding to the tune of about R67 000. However, according Mnyamezeli Mbandlisa, this is nowhere enough tosustain the home. Funding has dried up in recent times,” said Mbadlisa, who manages the centre.

As a result, he is sending an appeal to outside donors to rescue the facility.

“This will help avert a situation similar to the one suffered by inmates at the Life Esidimeni Centre, where, at lest 143 mentally ill patients died when the Gauteng Health Department, transferred psychiatric patients to illegal Non-Governmental Organisations.

Mbadlisa said the home is run on a shoestring budget and it simply cannot afford to render the required services and attract competitive workers. “We are looking after permanently injured people. Most of our patients are transferred from Lentegeur Hospital in Mitchell’s Plain, others are referred here by social workers. The majority of them are victims of car accidents and are paralysed,” he said.

“Out of the 26 people who are staying here, only four are from Langa. Others are from Stellenbosch, Paarl, Worcester, George and Khayelitsha.” Each inmate pays about R1 267,50 a month,(towards accommodation and sustenance” he stated. Mbadlisa said due to lack of funds, they could not employ professional practitioners.

“All our staff members are caregivers and are not well trained like nurses. We need professional nurses and doctors to come and assist us, even if they can come once or twice a week on a volunteer basis,” he pleaded.

Wheelchair bound resident Tsotetsi Nkhahle, from Philippi, said he was injured during an accident in 2004.

He could not walk after the accident affected his spine. In 2009 he moved to the centre after doctors could not help him to walk again.

“We are living as family and take care of each other. Even though not all the building is wheelchair friendly.”

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