Since the capital campaign launched in 2012, planning for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital continues, with building is planned to begin in the third quarter of this year.
So far in the project, a number of critical milestones have already been reached.
Although a commitment to the hospital project was made by Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi in 2009, he recently reiterated his ongoing support for the project as national and provincial government continue to work with the technical team on the project.
A private operator that will run the hospital will soon be announced.
In addition to having donated the land on which the hospital will be built, Wits University will be an academic partner of the hospitals, helping build the crucial capacity that will have a reach not only across the country but across the region too.
“The design of the hospital is now complete, and with groundbreaking approaching, a highly skilled technical task team is working hard to meet these deadlines,” says Sibongile Mkhabela, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust.
There is no doubt that the world’s economic climate has hampered fundraising efforts, however, the hospital trust has already raised nearly R250 million of the R1 billion target.
“In order to build the hospital, we rely on funds that come in from donors, and we will start building once we reach the halfway mark. We are optimistic that this will happen and we will reach our target,” says Mkhabela.
The hospital is a unique project in that capital funding is coming entirely from donors, while operational expenditure will be provided by the South African Department of Health. The project affords every South African, and individuals around the world, an opportunity to make a contribution toward its construction, however small.
The hospital will be a living memorial to Nelson Mandela’s unique contribution to Africa’s miraculous transformation, and the legacy he wishes to leave behind for children. It will be a centre of excellence and a specialist referral hospital catering for children in need of long-term care for complex illnessed. It will address a great need, as there are only four hospitals in Africa to serve nearly 450 million children.
“Millions of these children suffer from life-threatening illnesses and have little or no chance of receiving the specialised care they need. The hospital will be unique in one more way – no child will be turned away due to an inability to pay,” says Mkhabela.
“The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust is extremely proud to be a vehicle for raising and mobilising funds to plan and build the hospital. At the appropriate time we will appoint an operating company, called the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, to oversee the running of the hospital,” says Mkhabela.
One in five South African children has long-term serious health conditions. This hospital will fill a huge gap in the country’s health-care programme. It will not compete with, but will complement, other hospitals and their work in paediatric work.
- To make a donation to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, SMS ‘GIFT’ to 40301 (SMS cost R20, T&Cs apply)
or visit www.nelsonmandelachildrenshospital.org.
Issued by Lebo Mashigo, Meropa Communications C: 074 474 9972
On behalf of: Vuyo Lutseke, Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital T: 011 274 5656