It costs between R8 000 and R10 000 for a child to spend one night in the paediatric Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. One night can be the difference between life and death. So, imagine how many little lives could be saved for R2.5 million and just imagine how more R10 million could save.
The Children’s Hospital Trust has reached a quarter of its R10 million fundraising target for the upgrade and expansion of the paediatric ICU at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital. The R100 million-plus project will see significantly improved intensive care services delivered to critically ill and injured children from South Africa and from the rest of the African continent. Capacity will also be greatly increased, addressing the desperate need for more beds to treat some of the continent’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. R2.5 million of this target has now been reached, so there is still a way to go to reach the final target of R10 million 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.
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 ICU sees an average of 115 patients a month, but it has gone up to 145 in some months. For 145 patients to spend just one night in ICU costs between R1.16 million and R1.45 million. These figures are staggering, but the South African public as well as corporates, trusts and foundations have risen to the occasion, carrying us to the R2.5 million mark. Now we have R7.5 million to go and we need your help. Every little bit helps,” says Louise Driver, CEO of the Children’s Hospital Trust.
Help the Children’s Hospital Trust reach its R10 million mark and help give childhood back. *SMS 40465 to donate R20 to building a bigger and better ICU or donate online
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