This month, BD associates at Company headquarters in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, were visited by NBA Hall of Famer, humanitarian and friend of BD – Dikembe Mutombo – to speak with associates about his mission of improving health, education and quality of life around the world.
Dikembe, joined by Drs. Mimi and Louis Kanda, thanked BD for its latest contribution to the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation (DMF), comprised of $50,000 in cash and $25,000 in product which was used to train healthcare workers at the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital.
Providing life-saving medical care in the DRC
The hospital, named in honor of Dikembe’s mother, provides life-saving medical care to more than 50,000 patients each year, and was largely funded by him; Dikembe personally contributed $29 million to establish it. The hospital is dedicated to improving the health, education and quality of life of the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where Mutombo was born and raised. The region where the hospital is located experiences high rates of infectious and non-communicable disease, and Dikembe’s hospital has been increasing its ability to detect diseases – especially in women.
Over the past decade, BD has contributed more than $600,000 in cash and product to support the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital, including a $500,000 in cash and product commitment that helped the hospital develop two centers of excellence – an Immune System Monitoring Laboratory and an Occupational Safety Centre for Healthcare Workers. The safety center has trained more than 300 clinicians, and the new laboratory is continuing to help the hospital better monitor and treat patients living with HIV/AIDS. Twenty thousand women have also been screened for cervical cancer through the hospital’s in-house and outreach programs.
Leveraging NBA fame to save and serve the lives of others
“Nobody is born in this world to live by themselves, you are born into a society,” said Dikembe. “It’s about how you treat that society that is important.”
“Dikembe Mutombo is more than a retired NBA star and global celebrity, he is a global humanitarian who has saved and improved the lives of more than 500,000 people in his native country and contributed to the betterment of the human condition in countries throughout the world,” said Gary Cohen, Executive Vice President, Global Health and President of the BD Foundation. “We are fortunate to have Dikembe as a friend of BD and are privileged to support the work of his hospital to provide essential medical care to the people of Kinshasa and the DRC.”
During his visit, members of BD’s associate resource groups (ARGs) got the opportunity to join an intimate session with Dikembe, who has been honored by three U.S. presidents, is an ambassador to the Special Olympics, and was named an NBA Global Ambassador in 2009. During the session, he spoke more about his dream to serve and help people, and his biggest inspirations, who include his mom, cousin Louis, and Dr. Martin Luther King.
To learn more about the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation or the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital, visit them online.