What started off as a project to help take hospital visitors off the sunny and dusty streets of The Gambia has turned out to be so much more for Royden Revolve Rotary.
The Wirral-based club has been working in the West African country now for five years, using a Rotary International Global Grant and also working with Fajara Rotary.
The idea was to build a wash and rest facility which was in the shade, and which would allow hospital visitors to clean themselves before venturing onto the wards at night to help look after sick family members.
The vision was to simply help reduce cross-infection in the hospital.
However, one thing led to another. When the Royden members mentioned the idea to an alcohol gel supplier, they received £40,000 worth of stock.
And with Patsy Dodd taking the lead, the need for a simple wash facility expanded to provide a hand-wash project across the hospital.
A hand wash manual was produced. A team of Rotary members and nurses from the north-west went to The Gambia to train and support the project.
The hospital now has an infection control nurse who also visits clinics in the surrounding area, spreading best practice.
Tranmere Rovers spotted the work Rotary had been doing on Facebook and provided some football kits for the children to encourage sport participation.”
The biggest positive is that the average length of a patient stay has been reduced, which the hospital chief attributes to the hand-wash project!
Royden Resolve Rotary is based near Birkenhead, and their twinning partnership with Fajara Rotary has strengthened beyond the hospital.
They have forged links with Brightstar school in Fajara where they have provided equipment and with the support of Rotary clubs across North Wales, Merseyside, the Wirral and Cheshire they have helped to fund a new classroom.
Brightstar school has now expanded from 100 pupils to over 400 children. Tranmere Rovers spotted the work Rotary had been doing on Facebook and provided some football kits for the children to encourage sports participation.
And this month, Rotary members are flying out to The Gambia to help with eye tests for the children and supporting a dental hygiene project that is underway.