Upgrading of Parents Accommodation at Red Cross Starts
Building commenced on 24 July 2014 at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital to expand and upgrade the on-site Parents Accommodation.
Corporate and individual donors gathered to celebrate this milestone at a symbolic brick-laying event.
The Parents Accommodation facility is where parents or caregivers of young patients can stay overnight to be close to their children at their most vulnerable time. The Children’s Hospital Trust raised the R7.2million required to double the capacity of this facility, which currently has 63 beds for parents of patients who come from all over South Africa to seek specialist paediatric medical care.
The one thing that every sick or injured child wants and needs is to have their parents nearby while recovering. At the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, parents are allowed 24/7 access to their children because the hospital promotes holistic healing. However, considering that the 270-bed hospital manages around 260 000 patient visits each year, it is not surprising why the current facility has now become inadequate.
“When a parent is concerned about an injured or ill child, the last thing they should need to worry about is where they will sleep. The current residence for patients’ parents on the premises of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital is a place for caregivers to have a restful sleep but also to give them the opportunity to have a break from the stressful circumstances while their children are healing,” says Louise Driver, CEO of the Children’s Hospital Trust.
Driver explains that the Children’s Hospital Trust is committed to ensuring that children of the province receive all-inclusive healing and support, and funding the Parents Accommodation is a validation of the Trust’s outreach to improve healthcare and is only possible because of donor support.
Dr Roux Martinez, Medical Officer of the Burns Unit at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, says: “There are many wonderful technologies, dressings, medication and surgical techniques that are constantly changing, but none are as significant and as constant as having at least one parent or caregiver at the child’s bedside – most often the mother. Mothers hugely reduce the cost of nursing employment by assisting with basic care such as bathing, feeding and nappy changes, as well as reporting appetite loss, vomiting, fevers, rashes and other problems to the nurses. We thank all who assisted the Children’s Hospital Trust to make life a little better for these young patients.”
As the largest, stand-alone tertiary hospital in sub-Saharan Africa dedicated entirely to child health, the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital treats many patients from outside of Cape Town and there are often incidences where mothers have not had time to arrange accommodation due to emergency circumstances or where they simply cannot afford to pay for lodging.