Atlanta Hawks center Dikembe Mutombo has announced that he will donate $2 million toward the building of a planned $44 million hospital and medical center in his home town of Kinshasa, Congo (formerly Zaire). The announcement was made at a June 26 dinner kicking-off the fundraising of the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation, which is planning and building the hospital.
The basketball star created the foundation last year to direct attention and funds to health care concerns in Congo, where children die routinely of diseases like polio, diphtheria, and tetanus that have virtually disappeared in developed countries with widely available immunization programs. Infections like typhoid, caused by poor sanitary conditions, are also a serious threat to children and adults.
Mutombo hopes to break ground on the primary care hospital in the summer of 2001. An elementary school and recreational facility are also planned.
UPDATE: READ more about the finished hospital and the athlete who built it after years of struggle.