Bartley Memorial Block forms part of the Government run United Bulawayo Hospital Group, in Bulawayo, which was established in 1946 by Col. B.C. Bartley as a geriatric facility, which at present is caring for 26 under privileged elderly men and women in the city of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
Due to the current economic crisis within the country this hospital has been deteriorating rapidly due to lack of funds for general maintenance, staff shortages, food shortages, and shortage of medicines.
Bartley Block is one of the few institutions of its kind left in our city.
In March 1993, a group of concerned citizens called the “Friends of Bartley Block” formed a committee dedicated to the welfare of the patients in this centre. The Friends of Bartley Block are registered as a welfare organisation and have been responsible for initiating and overseeing the following activities:
VISITING – This is a vital need, as many of the patients have no social or family support. Patients are sometimes admitted to the hospital by family members and then they seldom or never return to visit them. Over the years Selborne Park Christian Church has been involved in bringing the church to these elderly folk each week, worshiping and preaching the gospel.
MAINTENANCE -The Committee has in the last 5 years had to assume the responsibility for roof maintenance, providing new mattresses, bed linen and curtains, repainting the exterior of the building, revamping the library, and doing numerous minor repairs. Over the past three years we have not been able to assist with maintenance, as our financial priorities have been limited to food and medicines.
HOSPITAL EQUIPMENT – Essential items such as wheelchairs, walking frames, and kitchen appliances are constantly being sought for.
LAUNDRY -. We are very grateful for the many donations of second hand clothing we have received for the patients. The committee employs two full time workers to meet the laundry demands, doing the washing and ironing, to assist the needs of the patients.
FOOD – The food provided by the kitchen from the main hospital is inadequate and many of the patients are under nourished. The committee works with a wonderful team of ladies from Selborne Park Christian Church, who cook meals and others who serve the meals. At present we are providing 5 meals a week.
MEDICATION – The hospital pharmacy is often unable to provide the basic drugs required, therefore the committee endeavours to source the essential drugs from a pharmacy.
Through all the present difficulties, we are learning to trust the Lord every day, with patience, perseverance and faith. We thank the Lord for the support we have received from many brothers and sisters in the Lord, who are willing to give their time and energy to serve and assist the elderly, who are unable to help themselves.