Purple reigns as fundraising campaign begins
IN HONOUR of World Prematurity Day, staff at the neonatal unit of Groote Schuur Hospital and the tiny newborns they care for all donned purple yesterday.
Local organisations, including the Cape Argus, Newborns Groote Schuur Trust, Good Hope FM and Ogilvy Public Relations, are joining forces to raise R26 million to expand Groote Schuur’s neonatal unit and upgrade equipment.
All the outfits the infants were wearing were donated by Naartjie Kids.
Of 15 million babies born prematurely worldwide every year, 8 percent are born in South Africa. And at Groote Schuur, of every 3 200 babies they care for, more than 500 are born prematurely. The tiny babies weigh less than 1.5kg – or less than half the average birth weight.
Although the unit saves the lives of more than 90 percent of premature and underweight babies annually, overcrowding is a huge challenge. Currently, bed occupancy at Groote Schuur is at 150 percent, rather than the ideal 80 percent.
Most of the equipment in the unit is at least 10 years old and is costly to run. The hospital is looking to buy new equipment such as incubators, cerebral function monitors and ventilators.
● For information on how to donate, visit www.newborns.org.za.