Women Champion Paediatric Specialisation Nursing

Influential Women Champion Paediatric Specialisation Nursing Campaign

19 March 2013 – Some of South Africa’s most influential women have come together to raise funds to recruit and train nurses in Paediatric Nursing Specialisation for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.

This week the group met with Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust CEO Sibongile Mkhabela for a “champions’ lunch” at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund head office in Johannesburg.

The lunch served as the launch of the new initiative, as well as a brainstorming session on how to raise funds for the recruitment and training of specialist nurses for the hospital.

The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital will be tertiary treating children with complex medical and surgical conditions. The nursing staff is expected to possess high level clinical knowledge and skilled in paediatric super specialties, such as cardiology, oncology, nephrology, critical care and operating theatre nursing science. They will therefore need to be trained in these specialities in order to work effectively in those areas. The first year of the specialisation campaign will consist of about 70 nurses shared amongst the specialties. The training will be ongoing thereafter with the long-term goal of obtaining almost the entire nursing component paediatric care efficient.

The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital will be a facility that aims to bring back that traditional view of nurses in society. They are an integral part of bringing heart to the healing of a child.

The forum was led by Mkhabela and Judge Yvonne Mokgoro chairperson of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, and attendees included first lady Thobeka Madiba-Zuma; Elinor Sisulu; singer and NMCH ambassador Yvonne Chaka Chaka; child nursing lecturer at Wits University and paediatric nurse Sizakele Khoza; former president of the Paediatric Society Nonhle Mbambo; and Princess Ntandoyesizwe Zulu-Moilwa, daughter of King Goodwill Zwelithini.

Princess Ntandoyesizwe is also a patron of the Hospital Trust, and is strongly committed to the hospital as she is living proof of the need for world class paediatric care in South Africa.
“My son was born with a rare liver disease, Biliary Atresia, and has had to receive treatment since birth. This hospital will benefit many kids such as my son as it will be providing highly specialised care. I am fully committed to this hospital and hope to see my son being treated in the facility once it opens,” she said.

Speaking at the lunch Mkhabela said: “All you ladies who sit here before me today are champions because you are caring women are passionate about child care. We are here today to make sure that we find the right team of nurses to provide specialised high quality care for NMCH. We need to remember this is a different hospital and a first of its kind therefore we need to change our mind set to adapt to something new.”

Among the topics of discussion at the forum were the shortage of nurses in South Africa especially paediatric nurses; the seriousness of creating a nursing centre of excellence with this hospital; creating a continent-wide facility where children can get specialised paediatric care; ensuring no child is turned away regardless of their financial status and raising funds to train and source the adequate team for the hospital.

Madiba-Zuma said the hospital would help to address the shortages in high level paediatric care in South Africa.

“I pledge my full support to carry Madiba’s dream forward and take responsibility of being part of this cause.  We should all fly the Madiba flag high. The dream coming true for me with the hospital is that it provides us with a chance to speak for the voiceless. All of us sitting here are mothers and are committed to investing in future of children the hospital can become a reality if we work as a collective.”

Mkhabela said the nursing would be guided by an ethos which is based on the values of NMCH founder Nelson Mandela.

We need your help to build this hospital. Everyone can take part in Madiba’s legacy and make this dream a reality. To donate SMS ‘GIFT’ to 40301 (Ts & Cs apply, SMS costs R20) or by credit card payment or EFT via our website

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Njabulo Mngomezulu

Meropa Communications

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