Kiwanis Targeting Burns

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A New Zealand South Pacific District Project

By Gay McNamara - District Serving the Children of the World Chairperson

At the Kiwanis District Convention in September 2001, it was unanimously decided to start on a new district project for the Kidz First Hospital Burns Unit in South Auckland. This is the main burns unit for treatment of serious burns for the whole of New Zealand and the South Pacific region, including New Caledonia and French Polynesia. Kidz First Hospital is a new 84-bed hospital, purpose built for treating children up to the age of 16 years; it is the country's specialist unit for burns and has specialist facilities for skin grafting and all treatment for burns. The hospital was opened in November 2000 and in 2001 treated 170 children for burns, some staying there for up to 3 months. Of these, 75% of the children treated for burns were 3 years and under. The hospital was built at a cost of 66 million dollars, funded by the New Zealand government. However, there is a shortfall to purchase some of the specialized equipment. It was the resolution of the district to raise NZ$150,000 with which to purchase an anaesthesia delivery unit (or pain monitor) to help with the terrible pain that these children suffer under treatment, sometimes for 2-3 hours a day.

One year on from the start at the 2001 district convention, it was reported at the 2002 Kiwanis New Zealand South Pacific District Convention that we had already raised more than NZ$150,000 for this project.

It was with great pleasure that we welcomed Stephen Mills, Co-Director of the Kidz First Burns Unit, and Pam Tregonning, Executive Director of the South Auckland Foundation, to the 2002 district convention. Stephen Mills gave a talk and photographic presentation on what is happening in the treatment of burns and how this equipment will be used. He said that the new machine will free up theaters for others uses and will help reduce the long waiting lists for surgery. After this, the highlight was being able to present a cheque to Kidz First Hospital for the amount of $116,357.33 to purchase the first Anesthesia Delivery Unit. This money has been raised by the great effort that the district members made during the first year of fundraising plus the grant received from the Kiwanis International Foundation. The effort that Fundraising Concepts Limited has made to aid the cause is also acknowledged.

Equipment handoverThe first mobile Anaesthesia Delivery Unit from the KTB project was formally handed over to Kidz First Hospital on 12 March, 2003.  The presentation was made by then Governor Tony popplewell, with Kiwanis also represented by then Governor-Elect Henri Habib and his wife Karen; Gay McNamara, District Chair Serving the Children; and Patsy Hill, District Chair Public Relations. Kidz First were represented by Dr. Stephen Mills, Co-Director Burns Service, Kidz First Hospital; Dr. Francois Stapelburg, Consultant Anaesthetist, Kidz First Hospital and Lisa Grant, Community Relations Officer, South Auckland Health Foundation. The hospital have reported that the number of burns children being treated in 2002 has risen considerably and the total for 2002 stands at 230 which is about 50 up on the previous year.

The various avenues of fundraising meant that as at the end of September, 2002 we had already raised $65,849.65 towards the next machine. The reason that a second machine would be beneficial is that there are two treatment rooms in the Burns Unit and quite often they are both in use. It was also announced at the 2002 convention that the Kidz First Burns Unit is to become the national burns unit for the children of New Zealand and the South Pacific.

Equipment handover
Shown at the handover of the second unit are (from L-R) Kiwanis Governor-Elect Ewan Beck, Kidz First Anaesthetist Francois Stapelberg, Kiwanis District Public Relations Chairperson Patsy Hill, Kiwanis District Serving the Children of the World Chairperson Gay McNamara, Kidz First Dr. Stephen Mills and Kiwanis District Treasurer Michael Hill.

At the September 2002 convention, it was unanimously decided to continue with the project 'Kiwanis Targeting Burns' for the next two years with the goal to raise enough money to purchase a second anaesthesia delivery unit for Kidz First.  This made it a three-year project as originally planned.  The support from clubs for this project has been excellent with all but eight clubs reaching their target of NZ$25.00 per member per year.  Some clubs have completed their three-year target and the combined clubs of Divisions 5, 7 and 11 also having completed their three-year target. The result of this was that at the 2003 district convention in Napier, a check for NZ$143,115 was donated to the Kidz First Hospital for the second unit.  The second unit was formally handed over on 21 April, 2004.
As well as the second anaesthesia delivery unit, we were able to present to Kidz First a further check for NZ$12,081 for a portable vacuum machine.  This machine protects skin grafts while allowing them to heal.  It also gives the injured child the freedom to move around the ward and visit the playroom.  Without the machine, they may need to be confined to their room.
Total fundrasing results for this project to April, 2004 has been NZ$250,472!  This will leave us a small surplus of funds, which we are hoping will increase enough by the date of the 2004 convention to be able to purchase a further piece of equipment for the Burns Center.  This additional unit is called a Continuous Passive Machine.  The knee CPM is used to slowly increase the range of a child's knee movement after knee treatment or surgery.  It is used on children that have burns to the lower limbs.  The machine allows the knee to bend slowly, with a gradual increase in range over time.  It is designed to decrease the pain and anxiety that may be associated in regaining full movement in the knee.  The cost of the machine will be NZ$8,129.
The project has resulted in a great effort on everyone's part and it has been a wonderful result for the district.  Thanks to many clubs meeting and or exceeding their targets and some matching grants from the Kiwanis International Foundation, we have reached the revised target and have had enough money left over (and still coming in) for something else badly needed by the National Burns Unit.  If funds are still available after purchase of the knee CPM, this will be used for the furnishing of two currently incomplete rooms in the National Burns Center.  One of these rooms is to be known as the Kiwanis room in recognition of the contributions made by our organization.
Thank you for all your efforts and congratulations to all Kiwanis members who have supported this New Zealand-South Pacific District project.


Page last updated by (David Fentress) on 27 July, 2015.
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