One month into a public appeal to raise the last R10 million for the R100 million-plus expansion and upgrade of the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and the
R1 million mark has just been surpassed. The project will see significantly improved intensive care services delivered to critically ill and injured children from in South Africa and the rest of the African continent. Capacity will also be greatly increased, addressing the desperate need for more beds to treat some of the country’s sickest little patients.
With the lion share of the funding already secured for the building of this life-saving unit, the Children’s Hospital Trust – the official fundraisers for the Red Cross Children’s Hospital – have made an emotive appeal to the public to help them raise the final R10 million to complete the building. R1 243 715 million of this target has now been reached, so there is still a way to go to reach the final target of R10m by the end of June.
Currently the 22-bed PICU at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital is the largest ICU for children in Africa. It provides emergency care for critically ill or injured children from all over South Africa as well as other African countries. The demand is driven by the increases in surgery requirements and escalations in detection of serious illnesses. In essence, the demands on this unit are higher than its capacity to deliver.
“Thanks to the generosity of the South African community, we are slowly but surely inching our way towards our R10 million goal. This project will enable this life-saving unit to help heal thousands of young children so we appeal to all of you to please donate to help us to complete the bigger and better ICU brand new ICU. Even a small donation can make a huge difference,” says Louise Driver, CEO of the Children’s Hospital Trust.
Construction on the unit began in October 2015 and is expected to be completed by October 2017. The 22-bed facility will increase to 39 bed spaces, and will include an urgently needed 10-bed High Care Neonatal Unit as well as isolation cubicles. The high care unit and the isolation cubicles will ensure optimal treatment through better infection control, which is critical in ICU.
The expansion and upgrade will also create more comfortable and supportive spaces for parents as well as breastfeeding mothers. Currently, family members have no privacy or space between life-saving equipment as they sit vigil at their child’s side. Increased space will also mean that staff, who work very long hours saving lives in tough conditions, will have adequate support facilities.
The Children’s Hospital Trust works in collaboration with the Western Cape Government: Health. The provincial government will contribute R30 million towards the ICU.
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