Since the Appeal first began in 2007, Countdown customers and staff have raised $12.8 million to support thousands of sick kiwi kids and their families around the country. Northland DHB Child, Youth, Maternal, Public & Oral Health general manager Jeanette Wedding told the audience over those 12 years Northland DHB has received $860,000 of those funds.
The Face of the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal this year is four and a half year old Zane Williams. Zane is one of five New Zealanders diagnosed with a rare genetic variant that affects how his brain works and because of this he has been diagnosed with global developmental delay, intellectual impairment and autism. Zane’s mother Nicole Alach said she first came to the Child Health Centre just after his first birthday when he was still not yet crawling. A blood test revealed the deletion on his 12th Chromosome, and from there they have had intense, engaged wrap around services from the Child Health Centre.
Northland DHB Child Health Services manager Yvonne Hunter said their wish list for 2019 includes new play equipment for the Whangarei Hospital Whānau House. The Whānau House has on average 80 children per month staying overnight. Currently, there is no area for the children to play and lacks child proof fencing. Yvonne said they aim to use the money raised to create a more homely environment to ensure children are entertained and distracted while their families are dealing with their siblings spending time in hospital.
Added to the list are various pieces of medical equipment selected especially to ease the stress levels of children undergoing procedures such as a vein viewer which allows for easy location of a vein to insert a needle for taking bloods and giving lifesaving medication. Sleep apnoea monitors will be purchased for the Children’s Ward and Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) to monitor breathing in premature infants and for babies who are at high risk of sudden unexplained death in infancy (SUDI). Fridges are also on the list for SCBU and the Child Health Centre to keep expressed milk at the correct temperature for babies and for storing immunisations safely to allow for opportunistic vaccination.
Yvonne said last year they were handed a cheque for $81,000 which has made a significant difference to children with disabilities who have the use of a new wheelchair and mobility scooter both in the Child Health Centre and for use in the community. They were also able to purchase glucose monitoring systems for children with diabetes, a trauma stretcher, breast pumps, portable and wall mounted ophthalmoscopes for Child Health Centre and the Children’s Ward. Child Protection and Gateway Services received an IPad to use for distraction therapy when children are undergoing procedures. Kaitaia Hospital received a heated cot, and portable blood pressure monitors. The team at the Child Health Service added $2000 to the Appeal from funds raised at a movie night and soup days and Yvonne said they are planning more joint fundraising again this year.
Health Fund PLUS has been set up by Northland DHB and Northland Community Foundation to provide a way for people to give to the DHB by way of donations or endowments. Health Fund PLUS enables Northland DHB to purchase equipment and services over and above what can be purchased through Government funding, helping the organisation provide the best quality healthcare possible to the people of Northland.
For the Full Northland District Health Board Media Release August 7th please click here: 190807 – MR – Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal Kicks off for 2019