New partnership forged to improve the lives of children in Swaziland

Categories: Care.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between The Rocking Horse Project and Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation in Mbabane, Swaziland today, Thursday 6 November 2014.

Based on mutual recognition of their corresponding values, mandates, trust and respect, The Rocking Horse Project, a children’s palliative care organisation in Mbabane, and the Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation in Swaziland committed themselves to work in collaboration with each other.  

Present at the signing were Zanele Hatton, chairperson of The Rocking Horse Project; Denise Mortlock, Director of The Rocking Horse Project; Makhosazana Hlatshwayo, Executive Director of Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation – Swaziland and Zodwa Gamedze, Programs Coordinator of Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation – Swaziland.

Memorandum of Understanding
The MOU signed today outlines the commitments of each of the parties with The Rocking Horse Project pledging to accepting referrals from the Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation, performing needs assessments, providing assistance, keeping the Foundation updated regarding needs and progress of children and helping to coordinate appointments for those who require sub specialised care. 

For their part, the Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation in Swaziland commits to provide The Rocking Horse Project with as much information as possible regarding each referred patient, keeping them updated on needs and progress of any of their patients, providing a medical needs assessment of children sponsored by The Rocking Horse Project and to make available the expertise of the Baylor palliative care physician to provide phone or clinic consults, as required.

Helping one another
The organisations have enjoyed a good relationship of mutual support in the past with the MOU symbolising a more formal commitment on both sides. The Rocking Horse Project’s Director, Denise Mortlock, estimates that of the 96 children who have benefited in some way through The Rocking Horse Project to date, 61 of them were referred by the Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation. This equates to 63% of all their patients.

Denise recounts an recent interaction with a physician from the Baylor College where The Rocking Horse project had assisted in securing therapy for one of their patients. The grateful doctor wrote:

“I needed to tell you that the day you walked in and helped that patient get into inpatient Physiotherapy with her mother was very important  for me. I sometimes get demoralized by the poverty and lack of resources … You didn’t only help her, you also helped me keep on going!  I’m sure that is how many other  doctors and health providers feel.” 

Asked what the MOU means to The Rocking Horse Project, Denise said, “For us it means having the comfort and confidence of knowing that we have excellent paediatricians available for all our children should we need their services.”

From experience we know that these paediatricians never hesitate to consult with experts all over the world when dealing with a particularly difficult case. It would be pointless and wasteful for us to employ the services of a doctor for The Rocking Horse Project when so much expertise is already on hand.”

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