The project that was inspired by Nelson Mandela’s aspiration to improve medical care for children will become a reality when it opens to patients early 2017 in one of Southern Africa’s biggest cities, Johannesburg. The funding structure and stringent requirements for a highly specialized care facility at this scale created huge challenges for the introduction of sustainability elements. At all times though, the building holds at heart the needs of its main users: children in need of healing.
The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital will be one of only five dedicated children’s hospitals on the African continent, including two in Cairo, Egypt, one in Kenya and one in Cape Town. As there are nearly 450 million children on the continent, the new hospital will create a much-needed facility for children in Southern Africa. Children referred to this facility will be guaranteed treatment, regardless of their economic status
A key feature of this project was the creation of a special public-private partnership between civil society, government and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Trust in order to fund the facility. All the funds to build the hospital were raised by the public – from corporate companies to philanthropists and ordinary citizens. Major donors included Islamic Relief, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, DG Murray Trust, Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, and Macsteel. Fundraising for the project started in 2011 and was mainly used for construction, equipment, and training of medical professionals. The total amount donated reached R880million by the time of going to print at the beginning of November but the final target is R1billion.
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