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Upgraded Medical Ward Launches

The B1 Medical Ward at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital has received a much needed R13.6million upgrade and will be officially opened on Tuesday June 19. For the upgrade, the Children’s Hospital Trust raised R8.1million and R5.5million was provided by the Western Cape Government which includes renovating the old ward and providing new equipment.

The extremely busy ward, which treats general medical patients, infectious patients and patients with chronic illnesses – most of whom are under a year old – was built in 1956 and has only had minor upgrades since then. 25% of the children admitted are HIV positive and 15% have Tuberculosis.
Prior to the upgrade, the 37-bed Ward B1 had insufficient space to accommodate and prevent cross-infection adequately. Despite the then outdated facility, the ward continued to provide the best possible training and teaching of all categories of staff and families, with active involvement in research as well as rehabilitation.

The new modern Ward B1 will house the following areas:

  • 32 general ward beds and two 4-6 bedded
  • High-care cubicles located opposite the nurses’ station for close monitoring
  • 5 isolation cubicles to accommodate 2 cots or 1 bed, and fully equipped to manage high-care patients
  • 2 additional low-care cubicles capable of managing 5 to 6 patients
  • Doctor and Operational Manager Offices Counselling room: this is essential for ensuring privacy as looking after the family is part of the hospital’s holistic approach
  • Communal areas: patients waiting room, patients day room, parents room, physiotherapy and occupational therapy gym, staff tea and change room bathrooms
  • Working procedure areas: examination room and medicine room
  • Storage areas Kitchen and Sluice

This upgrade will improve patient experience and outcomes, reduce the risk of cross-infection, increase emotional support and provide better conditions for both children and parents. Children are already highly traumatised and less overcrowding will result in a better hospital experience. Staff, patients and families will also have access to relaxation and rest space that is comfortable, child-friendly and attractive.

Minister of Health in the Western Cape, Theuns Botha, says: “Delivering quality health services and at the same time maintaining infrastructure, is certainly a challenge, and the infrastructure maintenance and facelifts performed at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital is a monument to a successful partnership between government and the private sector. It is also a demonstration of the motto of our government – we are better together. Red Cross Children’s Hospital is so highly regarded in this country, on this continent and globally, that we can certainly not afford to neglect maintenance work. The Western Cape Government Health is committed to this hospital and its needs.”

Louise Driver, CEO of the Children’s Hospital Trust says, “Seeing this ward upgraded and newly equipped to continue to serve the children of Africa is so rewarding, not only for the Children’s Hospital Trust but also for the donors who have supported this project and we wish to thank them for their support. In partnership with the Western Cape Government, the Trust is currently fundraising to upgrade the B2 Medical Ward, which is the final ward in the Hospital needing modernisation. The Trust will then continue to fundraise for priority needs at the Hospital and also for paediatric healthcare projects in the Western Cape, beyond the doors of the Hospital.”

The upgrade of the ward was made possible by the 18-year-old public-private partnership between the Western Cape Government and the Children’s Hospital Trust. The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital is a public tertiary and secondary level hospital, funded by the Western Cape Government and has an operational budget of approximately R523 million a year. The upgraded ward will now be maintained by the Western Cape Government, as with all the other upgraded wards at the Hospital.

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