Islamic Relief USA joined representatives of the Islamic Relief Worldwide family Dec. 2 in South Africa in celebration of the grand opening of the new Nelson Mandela Children’s hospital. Alexandria-based Islamic Relief USA contributed $1.75 million dollars to the overall $7.7 million donation made by the Islamic Relief family as a whole, to solely support the hospital’s oncology unit. It is a facility that will set the standard for modern child-centered health-care facilities. Its features include a bone marrow transplant facility and laboratory; intensive care and high-care beds; a dedicated pharmacy; and a radiology facility.
“It is an honor for Islamic Relief to support the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in South Africa,” said Anwar Khan, Islamic Relief USA’s Chief Executive Officer, who attended the grand opening in Johannesburg. “The hospital is a legacy of Mandela’s work to empower those in need. The hospital will provide quality health care to sick children whose families cannot afford to pay for treatment. The glass ceiling for quality health care for the poor needs to be broken.”
The hospital’s overall construction was funded largely by donations from the Gates Foundation and the Kellogg Foundation, in addition to Islamic Relief.
According to recent figures from the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation, one in 600 children in South Africa is affected by cancer before the age of 16. Yet more than 40 percent of South African children with cancer never receive specialist treatment. There are only four specialist children’s hospitals on the entire African continent, compared to about 20 in the UK. The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital (NMCH) will help change these grim statistics.
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Islamic Relief USA meets all of the Standards for Charity Accountability of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, a national charity monitoring group affiliated with the Better Business Bureau system. Islamic Relief USA is on the U.S. government’s Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) charity list, and it is also a signatory to the code of conduct of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.