“The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital is Mr Mandela’s final, lasting wish for the children of Africa,” said Nana Magomola, deputy chairperson of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust. “This hospital is what he created, once again exhibiting his visionary ability.”
About R790 million has been raised thus far. However, an additional R210 million is still needed. “We needed to raise R1 billion rand. That R1 billion includes the cost of construction, equipment and, of course, training staff,” Magomola added.
She also said that South Africans have come to the party and provided most of the money needed to build the hospital.
“There were sceptics who said it was never going to happen,” Magomola said. “We’re pleased that almost 80% of the money was raised in South Africa, so this is us as South Africans saying we understand and we want to partner with you.”
The new hospital will be a 200-bed specialised paediatric hospital that will provide child-centred care. The hospital is expected to focus on the fields of haematology, oncology, pulmonology, cardiology, craniofacial surgery as well as renal and general paediatric surgery.
This medical centre hopes to address the serious lack of hospitals for children on the continent. There are currently only four children’s hospitals in Africa – two in Egypt, one in Nairobi, Kenya, and one in Cape Town, all of which tend to the needs of 450 million children across the continent. There are 300 children awaiting surgery at one Johannesburg hospital alone, according to the trust.
“If you compare this with a city like New York – they have about five hospitals. Los Angeles has six hospitals,” Magomola said. “I remember speaking in the US and saying that on the continent, we have only four hospitals. They were saying, ‘Oh, it’s such a shame that South Africa has only four.’ And I said, ‘No, that’s the whole continent.’”
The first patient is expected to be admitted at the end of this year.
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