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Construction begins: The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital

Built on Nelson Mandela’s Legacy

Johannesburg 20 March 2014 – The Nelson Mandela Children Hospital Trust today officially celebrated the start of construction of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital at a sod-turning ceremony held in Parktown, Johannesburg.

Speaking at the event, Sibongile Mkhabela, CEO, Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust, said: “After years of fundraising under difficult economic conditions we are proud to announce that we have raised R570m, enabling us to break ground and start building the hospital.”

The hospital will be a world class, highly advanced specialised children’s hospital that will shape the lives of the children of Africa and shape the future of a greater Africa. It will work on a referral basis across all its centres of excellence.

“Having followed our beloved Madiba’s mandate of improving the care of our children, we are proud of reaching this milestone and look forward to building this hospital,” says Mkhabela.

Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi who attended the event reiterated government’s support for this legacy project through by committing to the operating expenses of the hospital, which would be budgeted for through the normal budgeting process of the Department of Health.

The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital will open in March 2016.

In addition to giving patients access to world-class health care, the hospital will serve as a training and research facility, which will ensure a much wider reach into the region. “Wits University will ensure that we have various academic and clinical synergies for the operation of the hospital and for the training and education of high level clinical paediatric skills in the Southern African region, says Prof. Adam Habib, Wits Vice-Chancellor and Principal.

“The location of the hospital on Wits land as well as in close proximity to the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital allows for paediatric academic teaching access from the Wits Medical School, maximising operational efficiencies and staffing models,” Habib.

Once complete, this will be a facility that not only promises to never turn a child away due to inability to pay, but gives them the nurturing care and surroundings that promote quick recovery.

Fundraising by the Hospital Trust will continue until the target of R1 billion is reached for building and equipping the hospital, as well as training medical professionals who work within it.

“This is an exciting time for the project, and we encourage global citizens to continue to be part of the living memorial to Mr Mandela’s legacy.

Together, we can build this hospital and secure Africa’s hopes of a better future,” says Mkhabela.

Ends

Issued by Lebo Mashigo, Meropa Communications C: 074 474 9972

E: lebom@meropa.co.za

On behalf of: Vuyo Lutseke, Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital T: 011 274 5656