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One month into a public appeal to raise the last R10 million for the R100 million-plus expansion and upgrade of the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and the R1 million mark has just been surpassed. The project will see significantly improved intensive care services delivered to critically ill and injured children from in South Africa and the rest of the African continent. Capacity will also be greatly increased, addressing the desperate need for more beds to treat some of the country’s sickest little patients.

With the lion share of the funding already secured for the building of this life-saving unit, the Children’s Hospital Trust – the official fundraisers for the Red Cross Children’s Hospital – have made an emotive appeal to the public to help them raise the final R10 million to complete the building. R1 243 715 million of this target has now been reached, so there is still a way to go to reach the final target of R10m by the end of June.Currently the 22-bed PICU at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital is the largest ICU for children in Africa. It provides emergency care for critically ill or injured children from all over South Africa as well as other African countries. The demand is driven by the increases in surgery requirements and escalations in detection of serious illnesses. In essence, the demands on this unit are higher than its capacity to deliver.

“Thanks to the generosity of the South African community, we are slowly but surely inching our way towards our R10 million goal. This project will enable this life-saving unit to help heal thousands of young children so we appeal to all of you to please donate to help us to complete the bigger and better ICU brand new ICU. Even a small donation can make a huge difference,” says Louise Driver, CEO of the Children’s Hospital Trust.

Construction on the unit began in October 2015 and is expected to be completed by October 2017. The 22-bed facility will increase to 39 bed spaces, and will include an urgently needed 10-bed High Care Neonatal Unit as well as isolation cubicles. The high care unit and the isolation cubicles will ensure optimal treatment through better infection control, which is critical in ICU.

The expansion and upgrade will also create more comfortable and supportive spaces for parents as well as breastfeeding mothers. Currently, family members have no privacy or space between life-saving equipment as they sit vigil at their child’s side. Increased space will also mean that staff, who work very long hours saving lives in tough conditions, will have adequate support facilities.

The Children’s Hospital Trust works in collaboration with the Western Cape Government: Health. The provincial government will contribute R30 million towards the ICU.

Sinaye Gets a New Liver

Seven-year-old Sinaye has been in and out of the Red Cross Children’s Hospital for a very long time. Doctor’s discovered that he has Biliary Atresia disease not long after his birth and this condition affects the liver and the bile ducts in infants. For treatment of this disease, Sinaye underwent a Kasai procedure when he was only three months old to prevent him from suffering severe liver damage.

As a result of this disease, little Sinaye has had many health complications and he has unwell for all of his life. One of the symptoms of this disease is that his tummy is permanently swollen and this is something that he has often been teased about at school.

According to his doctor, Sinaye needed to receive a liver transplant in order to help and improve his quality of life, but sadly the doctors could not place him on the transplant list originally due to his family’s personal circumstances. His mother, Khaliswa did whatever she could to get a stable, permanent job as a high school teacher and managed to provide a home that is suitable for a sick, recovering child. It was 14 January 2016 when Khaliswa received a long-awaited call from the hospital to say that her little boy will be receiving a liver transplant. They were both overjoyed.

Sinaye was immediately brought to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital and his liver transplant was successful. This brave little boy stayed in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Hospital for about a week after the procedure to ensure that he was stable. According to Khaliswa, she was not always able to be by his side, because of her work commitments, but nevertheless, she was at ease, because she knew her boy was receiving the best possible care.

“These are all really good doctors and I know my child was in good hands,” says Khaliswa. “Even when I was not there I knew he had a doctor or nurse by his side the entire time. I saw how each individual patient there really received special care and always had their doctor close by.”

Sinaye is still in the hospital but has been moved to the renal ward where he is receiving daily care and medication to ensure his condition is stable. “Sinaye is in good spirits and he is a really, really strong boy who is also a fighter,” says Khaliswa.

Help little children like Sinaye to receive the best possible paediatric intensive care services at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital. Help give childhood back. *SMS 40465 to donate R20 to building a bigger and better ICU or donate online at: www.childrenshospitaltrust.org.za
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