General News

Mandela Children’s Hospital opens doors to patients

Date: Aug 21, 2017

South Africa’s Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital says it opened doors to its first patients in June, in what has been a much-anticipated move.

The highly-specialised hospital, which prioritises children, says 84 patients have been referred to them by the Chris Hani and Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospitals for radiology tests.

In the main, these are computed tomography (CT) scans which use X-rays to make detailed pictures of parts of your body and the structures inside your body, as well as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan, a radiology technique that uses magnetism, radio waves, and a computer to produce images of body structures. “These patients are not critically ill because they walk into the hospital, but they are referred here because those two hospitals have a longer waiting list that includes children sharing with adults,” says Chief Executive Officer, Dr Mandisa Maholwana.

“The children come here because that is our specialty and they are prioritised. We specialise in identifying neurological disorders or possible brain tumours so we do MRI and CT scans so that we can ascertain what the problem is”. Maholwana says once the tests have been completed the patients are sent back to their referring hospitals for further treatment. 

In December last year, the launch of the hospital was in celebration of the construction phase being completed. Eight months later, the hospital can boast that it intends to help many more children from hospitals in and around Gauteng, once it stabilises. “For now, 84 (number of patients) is a significant number considering it is only children. Some of the kids need to be sedated for the tests to be done. And if you consider that this number is coming from only two hospitals, imagine how many more we will be seeing once we start taking patients from hospitals as far as Steve Biko, Far East Rand hospital and many others,” explains Maholwana.

She has assured the public that no patient will be turned away, whether they are referred by private or public health institutions, provided that they have undergone the necessary referral process in the referring hospital.

The hospital is the brain child of the late struggle icon and former President, Nelson Mandela.

In an exclusive interview with Channel Africa’s Ayanda Mkhwanazi, Maholwana says some of the challenges include the ongoing recruitment of specialists. However, they are working together with three academic institutions to help them.

Ayanda Mkhwanazi

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