When the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital is fully operational it will employ approximately 150 doctors and 451 paediatric nursing professionals.
The NMCH is the brainchild of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust, initiated by the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund in 2009. The trust was established and tasked with raising R1 billion to build and equip a children’s hospital to meet the tertiary paediatric healthcare needs in Southern Africa.
Thanks to donors from around the world, the construction of the hospital started in April 2014, and on the December 2016 saw the launch of the NMCH.
The hospital is one of two specialised children’s hospitals in the country. Africa only has four specialised children’s hospitals, compared to 23 in Canada, 19 in Australia, 20 in Germany and 157 in the United States.
The hospital is next to Wits are born up to when they can be managed, whether they will need surgical intervention in terms of an operation or closing whatever holes are in the baby's heart.
“Our Cardiology Department works very closely with the Paediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery Department to be able to manage those patients a little bit more effective.ly. We want to change the landscape and the outcomes for children to make sure that where we can intervene quite early on in it started accepting referral patients for radiology services and performing Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans and CAT (CT) scans. Since the referral of patients to NMCH started, Dr Maholwana noted that the backlog at hospitals like Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic has been cleared completely.
The two-year waiting list and times for MIR and CT scan appointments has also been reduced significantly Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital and Steve Biko Academic Hospital.
“We’ve seen a lot of children with cancer and tumours and that has been the greatest impact of the hospital, even oncology patients are being diagnosed and treated immediately.”