Winter is coming: Isuzu aims to raise awareness about burn victims in South Africa
JOHANNESBURG - With winter on the horizon, the risk of fires increases dramatically and along with that the very real possibility of injury or death for poorer communities where open fires and paraffin stoves or candles are an ever-present danger.
Burns are one of the most common household injuries, especially among children. The term ‘burn’ means more than the burning sensation associated with this injury. Burns are characterised by severe skin damage that causes the affected skin cells to die.
Most people can recover from burns, however serious burns require immediate emergency medical care to prevent complications and death. Unfortunately, this kind of emergency medical care as well as the post trauma medical treatment is long and comes at huge financial expense.
BURN RUN TO RAISE AWARENESS
Burn Run, in conjunction with Sheppie Round Table 83, will see participants, supported by a backup team, travel to Vanderbijlpark in Gauteng to attend the Round Table Association Annual General Meeting. This will take in the famed and fearsome Naude’s Nek Pass and Lundean’s Nek Pass.
Naude's Neck Pass, in the Eastern Cape, connects Nqanqa Rhu (Maclear) to Rhodes. With its summit at 2587m above sea level, the pass is the second highest dirt road in South Africa and is apparently based on the route taken by the intrepid Naudé brothers in the 1890s.
Lundean’s Nek Pass goes from Wartrail to the Telle Bridge Border Post with Lesotho. Wartrail is a mountain farming community steeped in tradition and many of the farms are still inhabited by direct descendants of the original settlers to the area.
The route will be along dirt roads (where possible), enduring a 5-day trip to get there. Total distance is 1230km, and this should take 30 hours. The participants will be using dirt bikes, 4x4 vehicles and, in many instances, unconventional roads.
While participants are enduring the road conditions, Annerie du Plooy and her team from Hero Burn will be visiting rural schools in the area around each of the overnight venues to provide burn prevention awareness training – and Isuzu will be with her.
COMING TOGETHER TO HELP
Isuzu Motors South Africa has made vehicles available to Burn Run to assist with this mission. Tim Hendon, Marketing Executive at Isuzu says: “We are very happy to be able to help out this year. Every year we read in the news about fires, many of which could probably have been avoided if the right education had been available. Burn Run is a worthy cause and its efforts to provide this training are vital.”
Burn Run is the brainchild of Leon Garbade, a past Round Table Southern Africa President and current 41er of Port Shepstone. Leon has been putting together events such as this for a while and has started the legendary ‘Hard way Up’. Hard Way Up was started as a way of touring our beautiful country, attending Round Table Conferences and, of course enjoying some fellowship along the way with young Tablers.
Burn Run evolved as an idea to help Sheppie raise some much-needed funds and then to distribute some of these funds to the Hero Burn Foundation that provides support and creates awareness of burns and burn victims. “By default, we also raise awareness for Round Table and, of course, we will have a one-in-a-million experience whilst doing this epic trip,” says Garbade.
Annerie du Plooy started a journey of supporting others in their time of need but, after a few years she realised that by being the anchor for so many other burn survivors the foundation has become a platform through which survivors can pay it forward after receiving much deserved support.
It became her life mission to support and care for people after a burn trauma. Hero Burn Foundation (a non-profit organisation now also registered as a public benefit organisation) has gone from strength to strength and to date has helped approximately 400 heroes in one way or another.
It is her dream to create a total burn care solution in South Africa that will not only include a dedicated burn hospital, but also a holistic rehabilitation program, research and development facilities and accommodation for any family that has to put their lives on hold for months on end. This will revolutionise burn care for all in South Africa.