The B2 General Medical Ward at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town is set to receive a much-needed R200 000 cash injection from this year’s Kids For Kids campaign. The ward is one of the busiest at the hospital and specialises in the treatment of kids with infectious and chronic illnesses, including HIV/AIDS and TB. Built in 1956, it is in urgent need of a modern upgrade, which is where the annual Sea Harvest Kids For Kids initiative came in.
In addition to hosting a sumptuous seafood banquet for youngsters on National Children’s Day with St Joseph’s Marist College, Sea Harvest also pledged 10c from every box of Sea Harvest Fish Fingers, Fish Burgers, Fish Cakes, Surfers and Hake Bakes sold nationwide. The funds will be handed over to the Children’s Hospital Trust, after which Sea Harvest will treat 60 kids from St Joseph’s Home to a fun-filled trip to see the new Pirates! Bands of Misfits animated movie. For many children from St Joseph’s, which is home to many outpatients, it will be their first-ever trip to the cinema.
For Prof Brian Eley, Head of the Paediatric Infectious Diseases Unit, the funds represent a step forward in the long-term project to upgrade B2. “HIV, TB, diarrhoea and pneumonia are collectively responsible for more than 60 per cent of under-five mortality in South Africa. The proposed upgrade will contribute significantly to improving the care of many children with these poverty-related diseases. The redesigned ward should also lower the risk for hospital-acquired infections, and improve the care of children with drug-resistant TB, a serious and growing health challenge.”
“The Children’s Hospital Trust is grateful for Sea Harvest’s committed support and for choosing us once again as the beneficiary for their Kids For Kids campaign. We’re delighted this year’s promotion raised R200 000, with every cent going towards the upgrade of the old B2 General Medical Ward at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. This vital upgrade will contribute significantly to improving the care of many children with these poverty-related diseases,” says Louise Driver, CEO of the Children’s Hospital Trust.
For Cindy Hess, Sea Harvest financial director, the special relationship between Kids For Kids and the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital makes perfect sense. “We are delighted to be able to play a small part in helping an institution that dedicates itself to helping millions of youngsters from across the country, and even the rest of Africa.”
Driver agrees. “This partnership is a great fit for us as it encourages kids to eat healthy fish meals they love while, at the same time, they are donating money to ensure sick kids at the hospital keep getting the very best medical care. We hope these funds will go some way to making a difference to the nurses and other healthcare professionals who do such excellent work here.”
After raising nearly R500 000 in just two years through Kids For Kids, Hess says Sea Harvest is more committed than ever to next year’s campaign. “What could be more rewarding than knowing you are helping thousands of sick kids get better? We are 100 per cent committed to being on board for a third year and hope to raise even more funds to benefit the hospital.”
Patients who were unable to make the trip to the movies were not forgotten. To include them in the fun, Sea Harvest handed out activity sets to the excited kids. “Sometimes a small gesture can make a big difference to someone’s day,” says Hess.
For more information, visit www.childrenshospitaltrust.org.za
Image 1: Yandiswa Nonoti and Phillipa Douglas with baby Soneze Thobi
Image 2: Prof. Eley and Cindy Hess
The Children’s Hospital Trust basic facts:
• The Children’s Hospital Trust is the independent, non-profit organization that fundraises for the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and paediatric healthcare in the Western Cape. The Children’s Hospital Trust has been assisting the hospital for the past 18 years to upgrade its buildings and equipment and develop its professional staff.
• The trust assures donors that 100 percent of all donations are spent on improving the hospital and not a single cent is spent on administrative costs.
The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital basic facts:
• The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital was built in 1956 and is the only stand-alone dedicated, specialist paediatric hospital in southern Africa.
• The hospital manages around 260 000 patient visits each year.
• The majority of these patients are from poor and marginalised communities – 1/3 of the hospital’s patients are younger than a year.
• The hospital’s patients are referred from the Western Cape, the rest of South Africa, Africa and in rare instances, the rest of the world.
• The hospital provides training to paediatric healthcare professionals from the entire sub-continent and does important research into the illnesses of childhood.