Nelson Mandela’s dream of creating a state-of-the-art, paediatric academic and tertiary referral hospital serving the children of Southern Africa has been realised. Initiated by the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, in line with its vision to change the way in which society treats its youth and children, the hospital admitted its first patients in June 2017 and has since treated thousands of state patients from Gauteng and surrounding provinces and even as far as Lesotho, Malawi and Somalia.
When Giving Changes Lives
Luminjalo was only three days old and experiencing lung problems before being timeously referred to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa. Any parent will tell you how distressing it is when your child is unwell. When Zonke Mtshololo gave birth to her son Luminjalo in August 2019, she never could have imagined that her then three-day-old son would be experiencing lung problems that saw him struggling to breathe. The hospital he was born where he was born, immediately started looking for another hospital that would be able to assist him. “After checking five different hospitals, the doctors were able to find a bed for him at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital,” explains Zonke.
Any parent will tell you how helpless they may feel, when even holding their child close brings them only a few moments of relief. Luminjalo received care at Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit with the support of the hospital’s multi-disciplinary teams who saw that he made a full recovery. Since receiving his treatment at the hospital, Luminjalo has been living, playing and growing, like any other child. This is a similar story from many other mothers who have walked through the doors of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, stories that are possible because of the generosity of donors and supporters of the Hospital.
“My heartfelt wish is that all parents with children who need medical attention could have the opportunity to take their children to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital,” says Zonke. Some of the things that Zonke appreciated the most about the time spent at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital is the way she was treated by everyone. “The security guard, the front desk, all the medical staff, they showed so much care for me as a mother and would always greet with a smile and show concern for me too,” expressed Zonke. The Hospital is a non-profit company which aims to provide specialist treatment to all children regardless of whether the family can pay. With the Hospital’s current Give Like They’re Yours campaign, the hospital is asking you to put yourself in the shoes of parents going through one of the hardest moments of their lives – receiving a report from the doctor and learning that your child has a life-threatening medical condition that requires specialist care. That is the reality that Zonke faced with her son, that fear and uncertainty.
The Hospital is asking you to consider what role you can play in Zonke’s life or the life of any parent who is faced with such a difficult reality. That role is to be able to make a donation to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital and know that what you’ve contributed to the wellbeing of a child like Luminjalo, which in turn contributes further to the emotional wellbeing of a parent and a family like Zonke’s.
NMCH operates as a referral, specialist facility offering critical care to patients irrespective of their socio-economic status. Nelson Mandela believed that every child should have access to quality healthcare which remains the ethos of the hospital.
With help, NMCH will continue to provide world-class health care to children – ensuring a better life for future leaders of the continent.