In the paediatric ward of Mount Isa Hospital in the Gulf Country region of far north-western Queensland, books from the ILF Book Supply Program are being gifted to kids when they’re admitted to hospital. Some of these hospitalised children live locally, in and around the town. But many come from more remote areas such as Mornington Island, Normanton and Doomadgee, often being flown into Mount Isa by the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).
Few of these children have books at home, and while in hospital many are separated from their family and friends.
“When they’re admitted to the ward I ask them if they’d like to choose a book or two,” explains Prema Subramaniam, a Consultant Paediatrician at the hospital. “And I tell them they’ll be able to take them with them when they leave hospital to go back home.”
When Prema heard about the work of our Foundation from interstate colleagues during a work trip to Broome, she immediately checked out the ILF website for details. Before too long, boxes of books were arriving at the hospital in Mount Isa. A couple of dedicated nurses are in charge of managing the books on the ward, and they are very keen on spreading the joys of reading with the sick and injured kids.
“The mums are so grateful for the books. It’s an absolutely wonderful program,” says Prema, who adds that she loves being able to distribute the books in this way.
“Their little eyes really light up. Some of them look so happy to be getting a book of their own it makes my day.”