In return for everything Madiba has taught us, we each owe it to him to support his work and legacy by doing and living our own as best we can, not just on this day, but throughout our entire lives.
William J. Clinton
42nd President of the United States of America
Even after spending 27 years imprisoned unjustly by a brutally vicious apartheid regime, Mandela came out of prison with the strength and insight to lead South Africa nonviolently into a multiracial democracy and an emerging world economy. The perseverance and bold, courageous example of Nelson Mandela not only helped to lead the dismantlement of apartheid in South Africa, but he continues today to stand at the age of 94 as a global role model and force for progressive change, moral integrity and equal justice for all.
Nelson Mandela inspired the world. Indeed, his love of children and hope for the children of Africa is well known.
|There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul then
the way in which it treats its children.Nelson Mandela
It is Madiba’s wish that his legacy be in the form of providing hope, faith, strength, determination, energy and courage and a concrete way to express his faith in how precious life truly is. He has asked that his legacy to the people of South Africa and the world be a Children’s Hospital.
The NMCH is about ACCESS to the best care for all children in the region. For decades, South African healthcare meant excellence for a few and virtually nothing for the many. Since 1994, the government has been trying to reverse that equation despite the exodus of medical practitioners and scarce resources thinly spread across a huge underserved population. What has suffered most, of course, is the specialty care that is resource intensive and requires specialized training. Perhaps the most horrific in its impact has been the egregious shortage of specialized pediatric care: there are four pediatric hospitals in all of Africa, and over 300 children are waiting for an ICU bed for cardiac surgery alone. For those who have walked the brick sidewalks of Baragwanath it is nothing short of heartbreaking.
So into this reality has come the potential of a state-of-the-art tertiary and quadriary pediatric hospital named for Nelson Mandela. Many obstacles that seemed impossible to overcome have fallen: 1) with the help of an outstanding Minister of Health, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, the hospital project has received a guarantee of R 500M to cover the costs for children who cannot pay; it has secured land from Wits for a prime location for access and training; world class architects and other design experts have developed a magnificent child centered design.
448 MILLION CHILDREN
ONLY 4 DEDICATED CHILDREN’S HOSPITALS
But resources are needed to get the hospital built quickly so that we can attend to critically ill children. The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital (NMCH) represents Mr. Mandela’s lasting legacy of a lifelong dedication to improving the lives of Africa’s children.
This hospital embodies Nelson Mandela’s transformative vision for a new South Africa – it will serve all children regardless of race, socioeconomic status or ability to pay. It will live by his creed that a society’s soul is revealed by how it treats its children.
The mission of this enterprise is to address significant healthcare challenges facing the children of southern Africa, including the lack of a dedicated academic pediatric referral hospital anywhere in Africa between Cape Town and Cairo, a severe shortage of trained healthcare professionals, and the reality that children are dying of conditions that are treatable and preventable.
The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital aspires to create the continent’s most technologically advanced facility with telemedicine capabilities to serve children far beyond Johannesburg, with electronic medical records to maximize information for improved patient care, and with digital facilities connected to clinical training centers across southern Africa.
THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN IN AFRICA WHO DIE
It has identified centers of excellence to improve specialty care through a robust academic research agenda, innovative nurse and physician training programs, and focused partnerships with major hospitals locally and abroad.
The singular focus is to ensure that the hospital can open its doors on July 18, 2014, when Nelson Mandela celebrates his 96th birthday. A hospital Trust, chaired by his wife Graca Machel, is working towards a groundbreaking of a building located adjacent to the prestigious University of Witwatersrand’s medical campus in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The hospital is Nelson Mandela’s wish: a vision for a new South Africa and will serve all children regardless of race, socioeconomic status or ability to pay.
The goal of the Hospital is to address significant healthcare challenges facing the children of southern Africa, including the lack of a dedicated academic pediatric referral hospital anywhere in Africa between Cape Town and Cairo, a severe shortage of trained healthcare professionals, and the reality that children are dying of conditions that are treatable and preventable.
- African has nearly 1 billion people, 448 million children, and only 4 dedicated children’s hospitals
- In South Africa, the private healthcare sector that serves less than 20% of the population exhausts over 70% of resources.
- In South Africa: There are 54 deaths per 1 000 children born each year. In comparison, in the USA, UK and Germany’s rate is 8 per 1 000 or less.
- Research shows a backlog of 300 children awaiting surgery at one Johannesburg hospital alone… Many children who have a delay in planned surgery will die from complications before re-scheduling.
- There is currently only one dedicated pediatric hospital in the Republic of South Africa, The Red Cross Hospital located in Cape Town at the southern most tip of the continent.
- South Africa has a long history of providing good medical care, but the apartheid past gave rise to a two-tier system with marked inequities.
Since democratization the private sector has continued to provide expensive state-of-the-art care, while the state-funded sector has concentrated on primary and secondary care – with inevitable deterioration of tertiary facilities.
THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN AWAITING SURGERY AT ONE JOHANNESBURG HOSPITAL ALONE…MANY WILL DIE FROM COMPLICATIONS BEFORE RE-SCHEDULING CAN OCCUR.
- This hospital embodies Nelson Mandela’s vision for a new South Africa – it will serve all children regardless of race, socioeconomic status or ability to pay.
- A 200-bed, 8-theatre hospital with state-of-the-art diagnostic capabilities and a planned expansion to 300 beds.
- The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital will be on the Wits Education Campus – in Parktown, adjacent to the Wits Medical School and Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.
- Child and environmentally-friendly design and service to ensure a holistic healing experience for children and their families.
- Electronic medical records to maximize information for improved patient care, and with digital facilities connected to clinical training centers across southern Africa.
- The hospital is planned as a “small” 200-300 bed facility situated in Johannesburg, adjacent to the University of the Witwatersrand Health Sciences Faculty.
- The services provided by the NMCH will complement existing services in the region by providing “Centers of Excellence” currently not available or poorly provided for in the existing system.
- The Centers of Excellence are in line with South African Government’s Modernization of Tertiary Services Plan to improve specialty care through a robust academic research agenda.
Four major departments will be developed to provide new or bolstered clinical services:
- Paediatric Surgery
- Paediatric Oncology
- Paediatric Nephrology
- Paediatric Cardiology/ Thoracic Surgery
These disciplines will be supported by two large Intensive Care Units and a state-of-the-art Imaging department
- The hospital design has been facilitated by international and local architects, resulting in a beautiful building maximizing the natural light, trees and gardens etc.
- All in-patient areas, including the ICUs, give our patients a view of this tree-lined suburb.
- Special care has been given to creating a child- centered facility in scale and design