Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital nears completion
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) -THE dream by the first President of a democratic South Africa, Nelson Mandela, to bring free and accessible healthcare to Southern Africa’s children is coming to fruition.
The R1 billion Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in Parktown, Johannesburg has taken a significant a step closer to completion with R790 million already been donated towards the state-of-the-art, specialist facility.
It is set to open in December.
“Construction of this life-saving facility began on 22 April 2014 and we are extremely excited to be nearing completion and look forward to opening the hospital at the end of 2016,” said Nana Magomola, Deputy Chairperson of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust.
She spoke in Johannesburg on Thursday as a tour was conducted at the hospital under construction.
Magamola expressed encouragement at the support received from the private sector.
“But there is more to be done in our bid to bring hope to the lives of children across the SADC region, and we encourage the private sector and all individual citizens to open their hearts and support the future progress of the hospital that will change the landscape for children’s specialist medical treatment across Africa,” said Magomola.
General Electric Healthcare (GEHC) and Standard Bank have been among the key supporters of the project.
GEHC is accelerating the completion of specialised children’s hospitals, in addition to secondary and tertiary facilities across Africa.
“Children have a right of access to quality, affordable and accessible healthcare to fulfil their potential,” said Farid Fezoua, President and CEO – GEHC: Africa, Sustainable Healthcare Solutions.
David Munro, Chief Executive, Corporate and Investment Banking at Standard Bank, said the bank’s involvement was part of its commitment to Africa’s future.
“This is why we will continue to seek collaborative partnerships to support worthy causes that assist in securing a bold, vibrant future for the continent we love so much, and for her children. We are really pleased to work alongside GE in support of the vision that NMCH inspires,” said Munro.
The hospital will be a 200-bed specialised paediatric hospital located on the campus of the University of Witwatersrand on land donated in 2009.
Expansion to 300 beds has been included in the design of the hospital, which will feature Centres of Excellence in Haematology, Oncology, Pulmonology, Cardiology, Craniofacial, Renal and general Paediatric Surgery.
Currently, there are only four specialised children’s hospitals on the African continent – two in Egypt, one in Nairobi (Kenya) and one in Cape Town (South Africa). This is compared to 23 in Canada, 19 in Australia, 20 in Germany and 157 in the US.
According to the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund, about 29 000 children around the world under the age of five – 21 each minute – die every day, mainly from preventable causes. A global campaign for such a hospital in South Africa was launched in July 2013 on Mandela’s 95th birthday.
He passed away in December the same year after a prolonged respiratory infection.
– CAJ News
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