South African Muslim Charitable Trust Donates R800 000 Ambulance To Saaberie Chishty Youth Society in Lenasia

Fears that a vital life-saving health-care service in Lenasia and surrounds could be severely compromised have been allayed with the donation of a brand new R800 000 fully-fitted ambulance to the Saaberie Chishty Youth Society.

The South African Muslim Charitable Trust (SAMCT) presented the organisation with the new vehicle at a recent virtual hand-over ceremony in Lenasia.

Speaking at the virtual event, Mr Gaf Osman a representative of the SAMCT, said: “It is our hope that the presentation of this new and fully-fitted ambulance will better enable the organisation to continue conducting its critical emergency medical care service.”
He indicated that the non-profit Saaberie Chishty Youth Society provided a largely free ambulance service for communities, irrespective of race or religion, in Lenasia, Lenasia South, Ennerdale, Eldorado Park, Zakariyya Park, Lehae and surrounding informal settlements.

“South Africa’s public health-care facilities are under great strain and the ambulance service is no exception, which is tragic, given that when it comes to health issues, speed of reaction by medical personnel is very often the difference between life and death. Our country’s medical staff deserve great credit for the work that they do; work which more often than not goes unseen and
unrewarded. This is particularly true of volunteers and those who work through non-profit organisations, such as Saaberie Chishty Youth Society,” Mr Gaf Osman added.

He said it is all too easy to ignore the stresses and strains ‘these marvellous people’ work under on a daily basis. He stressed: “Massive funding constraints, too few vehicles, vehicle unreliability issues and ageing vehicles are common problems for medical personnel working to serve historically disadvantaged communities in South Africa today. These are people whose dedication to their profession and commitment to those they serve will simply not allow them to give in to the numerous obstacles that are thrown up in front of them every working day. For that, they should be roundly applauded.”

The Saaberie Chishty Youth Society’s ambulance division provides 24-hour emergency support. It is manned by 16 qualified paramedics who attends to almost 300 calls a month, while 90% of patients assisted are unable to afford to pay for the service, which is then provided on a no-charge basis.

“In light of this, it is quite clear that the staff driving Saaberie Chishty Youth Society’s ambulance initiative forward do sterling work on an absolute shoe-string budget,” he said. Four ambulance vehicles are currently in operation, with two rapidly coming to the end of their operational lives, due to age and heavy mileage. Mr Gaf Osman said of the difficult situation: “The
risk of unreliability associated with elderly vehicles adds to the problems these crews face, and yet the cost of replacing such specialised vehicles is prohibitively high for a non-profit organisation, like Saaberie Chishty Youth Society. The dilemma the organisation faces becomes increasingly problematic, unless an alternative solution can be found.”

He went on: “Given the large area covered by this organisation’s ambulance service, the number of calls to which it responds and the affordability problems it faces on a continuous basis, the South African Muslim Charitable Trust was extremely pleased to be in a position to intervene, bringing relief to an organisation which does such great community work in the health-care environment and giving its personnel the peace-of-mind that their vital ambulance service will not be compromised.”

The South African Muslim Charitable Trust was created in 2008 to provide funding, services and other resources for improving the lives of the vulnerable, deprived and disadvantaged. It has successfully delivered sizeable assistance solutions throughout the country, irrespective of race or religion and work to support needy organisations in the fields of social development, poverty
alleviation, education and health.

Mr Gaf Osman concluded: “We are delighted to have been of service to Saaberie Chishty Youth Society and its ambulance service division and are confident that this new fully-kitted ambulance will make a world of difference to the organisation’s ability to continue delivering exceptional life-saving health-care solutions for patients in its wide area of operation into the future.”

For more information about SAMCT or its Saaberie Chishty Youth Society donation of an ambulance,
please contact:
Rasheeda Motala
Social Responsibility Officer
Tel: 084 506 2280

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