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Feb 25, 2005

KHMH kids get playground

There is little doubt that over the last decade the quality of medical care in Belize–both public and private–has improved dramatically. But even with all the C.A.T. scans, dialysis machines and intensive care units the attitudinal side of a patient’s recovery cannot be ignored. On Thursday the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital inaugurated a new feature that will help its young patients to stay positive in an environment that can often be intimidating.

Patrick Jones, Reporting
The refurbished open space has been spruced up to provide meaningful distraction for children hospitalized in the paediatric ward at the KHMH. According to the institution?s Head paediatrician, Dr. Victor Rosado, this facility is an important addition to the recovery process.

Dr. Victor Rosado, Head of Paediatric Ward, KHMH
?It?s a great benefit I believe. Imagine being a child, being confined to a hospital where you are not in your home setting where you feel comfortable, being poked with needles. And so we have tried to change that mentality. We here at the paediatric ward here at the Karl Heusner have gone and installed televisions in our wards, we have painted our wards cheerful colours, and we have gone now even a step further and provided a park, whereby kids could actually come and actually have some fun while they stay at the hospital. So we are trying to get them away from the painful side of being in a hospital.?

The playground is a donation of the Rotaract Club of Belize, with assistance from Rotarians locally and in abroad. President of the Club Luanne Flowers says moving the project from conception to reality was no walk in the park.

Luanne Flowers, President, Rotaract Club of Belize
?A lot of hard work. The financing was mainly through the Rotary Club of Flower Mound, Texas and the Rotary Club of Belize through their Rotarians with businesses like CISCO Construction and so forth. They were able to give us the donation, along with the money from the Texas Club and Rotarians came every weekend to do all of the work; from the filling of the sand to the painting.?

And while the adults did most of the hard work, Flowers says it was the children who got to do the fun part.

Patrick Jones
?Now I notice the art work on the wall, did you all to that as well??

Luanne Flowers
?Yes, with the help of students from the Standard Five ?H?class of Holy Redeemer Upper School. They came last weekend and basically they came up with the ideas of what type art work to put on it and we just followed them.?

Rosado says while Rotarians can estimate cost to construct the park; it is difficult to quantify the impact on the hospital?s young patients.

Dr. Victor Rosado
?To put a number to it is very hard. But we have on an average between twenty and thirty kids hospitalized on any given day. And I would say maybe half of that number is able to access the park on wheelchairs or ambulatory patients, meaning they can come on their own.?

Luanne Flowers
?We have done a lot of projects here and we see kids that come to the hospital with their parents. And they are not kids that need to be confined to a bed. But we see them walking around, peeping into the different wards and they don?t really have anything to do. So we hope that this will help them. They will have something to do, take their mind of the fact that they are in a hospital and that they are sick, give them a little diversion and hopefully help them to recover faster having a more enlightened place to be at.?

Patrick Jones, for News 5.

The playground project is part of Rotary’s one hundredth anniversary celebration.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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