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Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital aims to change face of local medical care

The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital(NMCH), in Parktown, Johannesburg, was launched on Friday. Built over two years, the hospital will host a number of centres of excellence for paediatric care.

This includes the cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery ward, an oncology and haemotology ward, a renal ward, a pulmonology ward, general paediatric surgery, a craniofacial ward and a neurosciences ward.

Built at a cost of R1-billion, the hospital has 200 beds and ten theatres and can treat up to 2 500 patients a month. The top floor of the hospital has 27 rooms to ensure that parents can stay with their children.

The hospital believed in keeping families together, as “there is healing in family”, said NMCH interim CEO and board member Joe Seoloane, who explained that while the hospital worked on a referral basis, children whose families could not afford treatment would not be turned away.

Further, he explained that the hospital, while not focused on emergency cases, did have an emergency ward with four beds. Here, children would be stabilised and then be transferred to another hospital for further care.

The land for the hospital was donated by the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). Wits Vice-Chancellor Adam Habibsaid the hospital would act as a training ground for “some of the best peadiatric specialists”.

Also speaking at the launch, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi highlighted that the hospital was only the fifth of its kind on the continent. “It is the newest and the most advanced of its kind,” he said, adding that the only other paediatric hospital in South Africa, the Red Cross in Cape Town, was built 60 years ago.

Motsoaledi added that other countries had much higher numbers of paediatric hospitals. Australia has 19 and the US 175. “There is a need for this hospital,” he stressed.

He also pointed out that the hospital would tackle the paediatric skills shortage the country was facing, noting that South Africa had only ten registered paeditratic cardiologists and only seven paediatric oncologists.

Motsoaledi believed the hospital played a pivotal role in decreasing childhood mortality rates.

The facility, which was funded, among others, by the Industrial Development Corporation, is set to open its doors in February 2017.



Source – Engineering News