Ambulances to Kosova summer 2009

We need support for our latest venture, which is to raise around £6,000 to buy and take three ambulances and possibly some fire fighting equipment to the town of Kacanik in Kosova.

Gail explained: “Medical staff in Kacanik only have one vehicle which is completely run down and badly needs replaced. It is also more than 15 years old so having two vehicles in good condition will make a huge difference to the safety to patients being transported to hospital. It also means if one ambulance is in use, there is still another available in the area to respond to emergencies.

“On a recent run to Pristina the current ambulance’s brakes failed so the nurses are terrified of travelling in the vehicle when they have to transfer patients from Kacanick to Pristina which is an hour and a half journey.

We want to raise the money to buy the ambulances from the NI Ambulance Service and drive them to Kosova over the Summer Holidays. It would mean so much to the medical staff and patients in Kacanick and the surrounding area.”

Gail revealed that the Kosovan hospitals that will avail of the ambulances were seriously underfunded and lacked many facilities that Northern Ireland patients take for granted.

“We have just returned from a trip to Kosova and visited both hospitals,” she said. “Conditions were horrendous with women who had just given birth forced to share a bed because of lack of facilities. Pristina hospital doesn’t have a suitable vehicle to bring premature babies to its neo-natal clinic so we hope that the fundraising we do will ensure that these conditions are improved.”

The group also hope to raise enough cash to buy some vital fire fighting equipment for the town.

“The local fire station only has two rigs, one of which is 33 years old”, explained Gail. “The equipment and protective clothing the firefighters have is inadequate and old – for them to have up-to-date safety clothing, cutting equipment and a younger fire engine would make a huge difference to their ability to respond to emergencies and be safe and protected in the process.

“We are really keen to hear from people who could help us out – in making donations, holding fundraising events or who could make contributions in kind such as donating gifts that we could use in fundraising.”

For more information contact Colin and Gail Dewar by emailing info@kosovasupportgroup.org