News Release

Church Donates 124 Wheelchairs to Palau Hospital

Hospital receives wheelchairs to aid bedbound

A Wheelchair Donation Ceremony was held at the Belau National Hospital in the Republic of Palau, on Tuesday, July 12th, 2022, set up by Darnelle Worswick, the hospital administrator.

Omengkar D. Wally, Global Health Coordinator, conducted the ceremony and introduced key people that gave remarks.

The Church’s Koror Branch President, EJ Ozu, gave remarks followed by Church Area Authority and humanitarian director William H.K. Davis. The Minister of Health, Gaafar Uherbelau, concluded the ceremony with his remarks. Koror branch members John and Angie Ngiraked and Mel Ozu were also in attendance along with hospital staff.

Wilma B. Ernest was the recipient of the first wheelchair. Not able to attend, her husband, Ernest Simer, came to receive the donated wheelchair in her behalf. All smiles, he was excited to accept this donation.

President Ozu shared his thoughts concerning the donation saying, “On behalf of our Church, we are humbled, our hearts are full of gratitude that we can help the people of Palau and to provide a service for them. We hope through following in Christs footsteps that we can open the doors to a more beneficial community effort, to work together. There are a lot of needs, and we are truly grateful for the opportunity to serve.

Elder Davis followed with comments saying, “We are very pleased to offer this donation of 124 wheelchairs. In our Church we follow the two great commandments. The first is to love God, and the second is to love our neighbor as ourselves. We all practice that, we all believe in Jesus Christ as our savior. This donation is made possible by the generous donations of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints including our members in the island of Palau. As we are faithful in obeying the commandment found in Malachai to bring the tithes and other offerings these are used to help the needy, including the people in Palau. We are so happy to be right here in Palau and to provide this service, especially to some of our most vulnerable people in the community

Minister Gaafar concluded the ceremony with his comments, “On behalf of the ministry and all of the staff as well as the departments that will receive these wheelchairs, we really want to thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and of course the people of Palau. It is a very challenging and difficult time so to be receiving this donation has a very impactful effect on the community whether it’s seen or not or published or not.  The Lord works in mysterious ways and so we really appreciate it, especially during this difficult time.”

The Belau Hospital is the only National hospital in Palau which serves all citizens on the island (18,092 people) by providing primary healthcare, emergency care, surgery, inpatient, pediatric and outpatient services. Church Humanitarian Specialists, Elder and Sister Green met with director Darnelle Worswick in August 2021, to inquire what the hospitals needs were and found they have a huge need for wheelchairs.

A proposal was submitted and approved to donate a twenty-foot container of 124 wheelchairs to the hospital. Each chair is embroidered with the logo ‘Donated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ on the back. To accommodate the weather and conditions in Palau, each wheelchair was ordered with composite spokes that will not rust, tubeless tires that will not go flat, and a seat cushion for comfort. The wheelchairs will support inpatients and outpatients in the hospital, clinics in the area, and will be provided to needy patients in the community because of disabilities caused by non-communicable diseases such as diabetes. After much time and effort, the wheelchairs have arrived and are now ready to be distributed to those in need by the hospital.

We interviewed Dr. Sylvia Osarch, a Geriatrician with Belau National Hospital who has worked there for over 20 years. Sharing her feelings she said, “The wheelchairs and any kind of donations are very important. The wheelchair is important because there are homebound who have no way of coming into the hospital so the wheelchairs will benefit us greatly, as well as those who can still do things on their own around the house who we can give a wheelchair to. I look to benefit the quality of life for the elderly, so, thank you for the wheelchairs”.

The Church continues to support those in need, to emulate the Christlike attributes that we value in our lives of love, service, and charity.

Jesus taught, “Thou shalt love the Lord they God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matthew 22: 37-39)

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