Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation

The late Nelson Mandela’s presence was very much felt on Friday as his widow, Graca Machel, helped officially open the children’s hospital he dreamed of…

Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation
Source: Twitter / Nelson Mandela Foundation

The building of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital (NMCH) in Johannesburg has been a team effort of love, hard work, dedication and donations.

The MRI machine is quieter than most to make it less terrifying for kids. The artwork and deco – by kids – will comfort children in pain. And 10,060m2 of garden has been planted, with a total of 100 indigenous trees around the Hospital. Every window looks onto a garden!

“We’ve tried our hardest to make this a welcoming space in spite of the circumstances :)” tweeted the NMCH.

This is only the fourth dedicated children’s facility in Africa (Canada has 23 such hospitals), and will provide highly specialised services for kids in South Africa and in the region, Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, said on Friday.

The hospital will serve as a referral facility and be classified as a ‘central hospital’. (There are only 10 others in the country.)

Minister Motsoaledi said: “This is an auspicious day for both the memory of Madiba and the children of South Africa and the region. Mandela loved children. I am sure that wherever Madiba is, he is looking down on us and I’m sure that he would have preferred to be with us.”

The Minister said it was a sad reality that millions of children around the world are not cared for. In South Africa 1.2 million children have either one or both parents dead.

“It makes these children vulnerable, especially when they get ill and need specialised care,” he said.

“Madiba was a strong advocate for a children’s hospital. He said children had the right to receive the best treatment when they are ill, irrespective of their economic and social status. The true wealth of this world rests in the well-being of its children,” said the Minister.

The Minister said government will support the hospital which has 48 critical care beds.

Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, a Monument of love

“This hospital is a monument of love, care and service by Madiba himself. This hospital is a monument of excellence,” said Machel.

“Every child counts and matters… This hospital is also an expression of what a collaboration can achieve. Many people contributed to make it happen,” said Machel.

Partly sourced: