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Nelson Mandela’s dream: Making world-class healthcare available to the children of Southern Africa through a state-of-the-art facility – the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.

The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital honours Mr Nelson Mandela’s life-long commitment to children. In his words, this hospital will be a “credible demonstration of the commitment of African leaders to place the rights of children at the forefront”.

Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Origins
The origins of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust (NMCHT) trace back to a concept paper drawn by NMCF CEO Sibongile Mkhabela. Consideration of the concept paper by the Fund founding chairman, Nelson Mandela and his wife, Mrs Graça Machel led to their endorsement of the concept. Further consideration of the concept by the Board of Trustees of the Fund saw it adopting a resolution giving the proposed Children’s Hospital Special Project Status on November 17, 2005 . Added support came from luminaries such as Bishop Tutu, Dr John Howe, President of Project Hope in the USA , Woman Business Pioneer Ms Wendy Luhabe, Dr Mamphela Ramphele, Professor Mohale Mahanyele, Bishop Joe Seoka, Archbishop of Buti Thlagale, Archbishop Ndanga Phaswane, and the National and Gauteng Health departments.

Growing support for a child-centred facility from various key stakeholders gave rationale to the NMCF Board of trustees giving mandate to management to explore all avenues possible for the desired establishment of the facility by the executive directive of its CEO Sibongile Mkhabela.

The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust was registered in August 2009, and Mrs Graça Machel appointed its Chairperson soon afterwards.

Why a Children’s Hospital?

There is a marked difference between the health care needs of children and those of adults. Children require health care provision that takes account of this difference in a manner that is focused, responsive and supportive to their physical and emotional maturity.

The three children’s facilities at the Johannesburg, Chris Hani-Baragwanath and Raheema Moosa Mother and Child hospitals all represent their fair share of respective responses to addressing this difference albeit within the constrains.

The Children’s Red Cross Hospital, in the Western Cape, cannot singularly cope with the national demand since its services are not only limited to South African population of 46,7 million but also extend to the needs of children from across its borders.

With child health care demands increasingly showing a southward influx trend, building a children’s hospital for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) would be a fitting tribute in the movement of placing children’s first.

Compared to 23 children’s hospitals in Canada , 19 in Australia and 20 in Germany , the plans to establish a second health facility for a combined population of 238,8 million people in the SADC region, constitutes a modest proposition.

This proposition enjoys both the unreserved support and a shared deep sense of understanding from sponsors, paediatricians, nurses, eminent practitioners in the field, medical schools and funding partners locally and abroad.


Visit the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital here