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The Nelson Mandela Children's Fund donated R1-million on Thursday to the Children's Hospital Trust for the refurbishment of the Red Cross War Memorial Children's hospital.
"The Red Cross Children's hospital undeniably stands as both a national asset and continental resource. It is vital that we assist with upgrading and equipping this facility to ensure the well-being of children," the fund's chief executive, Sibongile Mkhabela, said in a statement.
Celebrating its 50th birthday next year, the hospital needed to have its four operating theatres upgraded urgently at a cost of R48-million.
Children's Hospital Trust director Adrienne Coetzee said the outdated theatres were battling to keep up with the increase in the number of children requiring surgery.
"While surgeons are working around the clock performing approximately 700 to 800 operations a month, children are placed on waiting lists that stretch from four to 16 months," Coetzee said.
She said 25% more patients a year will be operated on after the completion of the upgrades.
The Red Cross Children's hospital is the only hospital dedicated entirely to children south of Cairo.
The grant forms part of the fund's 10th anniversary celebrations, Mkhabela said. -- Sapa