Paediatricians lead fundraising charge for sick children

peditricians---textSpaed Team consists of paediatricians and paediatric surgeons from the paediatric units at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital, and Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital. (Image: The Nest)

For South Africa to be a better place for all its citizens, and for the country to achieve the vision embodied in its National Development Plan, every individual needs to play their part in making life better for the next person.

Doing just that is a group of paediatricians, known as the Spaed Team, who are once again raising funds for the Wits Paediatric Fund (WPF).

Spaed Team consists of paediatricians and paediatric surgeons from the paediatric units at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital, and Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital. Team members will cycle the Jozi Urban Mountain Biking Adventure, or Juma, and run the Jozi Urban Run Adventure, or Jura, to raise money on 5 and 6 September.

Dr Jennifer Geel, a paediatric oncologist from Charlotte Maxeke, said: “We want to use the money to buy protective clothing that is used in catheterisation laboratories. This is an important service because it is a specialised theatre where children are diagnosed with complex problems and in some cases prevents them from having to undergo heart surgery.”

The team aims to raise R100 000 to buy equipment for the cardiac catheterisation laboratory at Bara. Play your part and log on to Spaed Team’s Do It 4 Charity page to make donations, or check the WPF’s Facebook page.

WITS PAEDIATRIC FUND

The WPF raises money to improve facilities and health services for the babies and children in need of care at the three academic hospitals. The cash is used to buy expensive medical equipment, supplementary medical and therapeutic services, and materials for the renovation of wards, as well as for professional development training.

It was established in 2008 as a departmental initiative of the Wits Paediatric Health Department, facilitating the demand for specialised medical treatment that cannot be covered by government funding alone.

Professor Daynia Ballot, its chairperson, said: “We are a close-knit team of devoted doctors and nurses who are experts in our respective fields. Together our three hospitals supply health care to many thousands of children in need on an annual basis from tiny preterm infants to adolescents.

“Through the WPF we can uplift our children with top-class treatments, transplants, equipment and renovations needed to facilitate health care.”

MOOSA AND MAXEKE

Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital is named after Rahima Moosa, a struggle icon born in the Strand, Cape Town on 14 October 1922. She became politically active after becoming aware of the unjust segregation laws in South Africa.

In 1955, she played a significant role in the organisation of the Congress of the People, at which the Freedom Charter was adopted. In 1956, while pregnant with her daughter, Natasha, she helped to organise the Women’s March, under the auspices of the Federation of South African Women (Fedsaw). Together with Helen Joseph, Lillian Ngoyi and Sophia Williams, Rahima spearheaded the historic march to the Union Buildings where women handed over petitions against pass laws.

She died in 1993, a year before South Africa held its first democratic elections.

Charlotte Maxeke was born in Ramokgopa, Polokwane (then Pietersburg) in Limpopo on 7 April 1874. She graduated with a BSc degree from Wilberforce University in the US and on her return to South Africa, she was the first black female graduate.

Her life as a missionary led her social activism and she helped to organise the anti-pass movement in Bloemfontein in 1913. She also founded the Bantu Women’s League of the South African Native National Congress in 1918.

As leader of this organisation, she led a delegation to Prime Minister Louis Botha to discuss the issue of passes for women. This was followed by a protest the following year. She was also involved in protests on the Witwatersrand about low wages, and participated in the formation of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union in 1920.

Maxeke died in Johannesburg in 1939.