As part of their continued partnership the Gauteng Department of Health, global healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Surgeons for Little Lives, a local non-profit organisation, today opened their newly completed Paediatric Surgical Outpatient and Parental Sleep-Over Facility at Soweto’s Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital. The new clinic will cater for infants and children with paediatric surgical conditions, providing the first integrated service offering support for families of young patients.
The hospital’s paediatric surgery department currently draws patients from across the northern half of South Africa, as well as numerous patients from Sub-Saharan Africa, on account of its world-class care. However, the facilities required essential improvement to appropriately serve the catchment population of in excess of 15 million people. In line with GSK’s focus on mother and child health, the global healthcare company has provided funding and support to this new facility that will support 1,500 outpatients and 130 inpatients per month. In addition, the centre will house a parental sleep-over facility, allowing children the opportunity to have family support while admitted as inpatients to the hospital, often for prolonged periods of time.
The opening of this world-class facility is part of GSK’s ongoing commitment to provide best-in-class access to healthcare in South Africa. Designed by global private hospital group Mediclinic, who were pivotal in the construction, implementation and logistical support of building the facility, the centre will enable patients to receive the highest level of care, privacy and dignity available.
Dr Sifiso Maseko, Acting CEO, Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital: “This is a great initiative which shows what can be achieved when the private sector partners with us in the public service. We are grateful to both GSK and Surgeons for Little Lives for this historic venture. The patients treated here will extend beyond Gauteng citizens only because patient referrals are expected to come from across the country. We are thrilled that the new paediatric surgery outpatient clinic will increase our ability to improve our duty of care and the number of patients treated in our Department of Paediatric Surgery.”
Jonathan Workman, GSK General Manager South Africa & Southern Africa: “Improving access to healthcare services continues to be a main priority for GSK in South Africa and more broadly across the continent. This exciting project in collaboration with the Gauteng Department of Health and Surgeons for Little Lives makes us very proud. This facility will help support the current healthcare ecosystem further, ensuring patients have access to the healthcare they need. Our investments in the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital have proved to be very meaningful in the lives of patients and in providing comfort for their families. It is remarkable what can be achieved when various players come together and support the development of the healthcare sector across key areas,’’ he concluded.
In addition to the facilities for patients and their families, the new paediatric surgery clinic is designed to be conducive for training, forming the clinical and academic hub of the management of patients at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital. The Department of Paediatric Surgery, University of the Witwatersrand, is the leading and largest training facility for paediatric surgeons in sub-Saharan Africa.
GSK’s collaboration with the hospital is part of a long-term strategy to increase access to healthcare and help patients to do more, feel better, and live longer. By increasing capacity in local medicine supply and strengthening healthcare infrastructure, GSK hopes to stimulate research and deliver sustained economic growth across Africa.
Prof. Jerome Loveland, Chairman of the Board, Surgeons for Little Lives, said:
“Together with the Department of Health, GSK, and crucial support from Mediclinic, we have worked hard to see this project materialise, turning a pipe dream into reality. Amongst numerous smaller projects, Surgeons for Little Lives is delighted that within two years of launching, we have completed this our first major capital project, and launched our second; this a Lactation Unit and Breast Milk Bank, also at Baragwanath Hospital. We are confident that this Outpatient Clinic and Parental Sleep-Over Facility will play an important role in improving access to quality healthcare for children, overcoming infrastructural and capacity challenges as well as improving resources for nurses and doctors. The outpatient department will take our clinical care, training and research to the next level. By providing support facilities for caregivers and family members we are not only decreasing the anxiety levels for children but alleviating some of the day-to-day workload of nursing staff who have previously provided motherly duties while patients were unable to be present at the hospital.’’