Footprints 4 Sam aims to raise R80-million for Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital’s 80th birthday
The hospital is dedicated to the care of obstetric, gynaecological and paediatric patients but has recently been plagued with issues. To commemorate the milestone, Footprints 4 Sam, a charitable trust wants to raise funds to renovate the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital.
Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital (RMMCH) is exclusively dedicated to the care of obstetric, gynaecological, and paediatric patients. The hospital, which turned 80 on 29 March, has over the years experienced an increase in the number of deliveries at the hospital, while the capacity has unfortunately not kept up with the increase in patient numbers. Footprints 4 Sam is a charitable trust that was established in October 2017 and is currently raising funds to renovate the neonatal intensive care unit in the hospital.
The Trust was formed in memory of Samuel John Frederick Platt, who spent his entire life in a hospital — all fifteen and half months.
“Sam was a preemie, and due to complications in utero, was by emergency Caesarean section,” explains Melissa Platt, Sam’s mother, and co-founder of Footprints 4 Sam. “We formed the Trust to really advocate for underprivileged children with life-limiting or chronic illness, their parents, families and the emotional well-being of health professionals that serve them,” she added. The Trust has six key initiatives, including a transport initiative where two mini buses in Cape Town transport children to and from the clinic and follow-up appointments in the hospital. They also have a bucket programme, comprising a Food Bucket, Care Bucket, and Love Bucket.
“The buckets are there to support patients that are in hospital for long periods and then go home with nothing, due to their poor socio-economic situation and because care dependency grants often take a long time to come through,” she explained.
Another initiative from the Trust is the Beautiful Memories Initiative. One of the aims of the initiative is to renovate essential spaces within strategic government paediatric wards to ensure excellent patient outcomes and quality of life for the patients, their families, and all professionals and key personnel that work in these lifesaving spaces. Platt’s own experiences in hospitals with her son, Sam, contributed to the renovation of the Kangaroo Mother Care Ward, and the creation of a bereavement and counselling area, as well as a breastfeeding area at RMMCH. “We’ve created a space where if a child dies or if a parent is receiving really hard news about their child, their lifespan or illness, they can do it in a beautiful environment. We’ve created pockets of magic and sacredness at Rahima, a setting that is really deprived of many resources,” she explains. The sleepover areas for registrars have also been renovated, she added. “Spaces like these do not often exist, even in private hospitals,” she explains.
Footprints 4 Sam- 80/80 Legacy Campaign
The neonatal division of the hospital currently has four in-patient areas that serve the neonatal population. It has a total of 61 beds and or incubators. The existing facilities are congested and the infrastructure is old, while the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is cramped, with too few beds. Overcrowding, cross-contamination, and neonatal infections are some of the problems facing the ward. Platt praises the staff who work there.
“The heart and the spirit of the people that work at Rahima Moosa, despite what they’re going through is unbelievable and I think unmatched. When you walk into that space, despite the peeling floors and sometimes leaking roof or pipes, there is still an energy, a commitment, and a community of practice and team spirit that you do you don’t often get in many other hospitals,” she explained. The hospital turned 80 on the 29 of March. To commemorate the milestone, Footprints 4 Sam, wants to raise R80-million to renovate the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital.
Platt explained that the Trust has been working closely with an architectural team. “This is a shovel-ready project. Paragon Architects and Origin Project Management have invested significant time and money for the last two and a half/ three years now, making sure that the plans are done, and making sure that the project is future-proofed,” she explained. The initial aim is to make sure that the current neonatal area of the hospital is transformed and brought within healthcare regulations from a safety point of view. “Phase two we need to probably go up a level and make sure that we can expand the number of beds because as you’re building, the number of births is already increasing,” she explained.
Coming together as a community
Footprints 4 Sam aims to raise R80-million to renovate the NICU area. Currently, there is provisional funding from a foundation that has partnered with them on a matched funding basis. “Principally, we’ve got R10-million, but we need to match this amount. Once we have secured the first R20-million, we’ve then got another 60 [million] to go,” she explained. The hospital needs various resources including; equipment, ventilators, neonatal ICU beds, incubators, ventilators, and a new CT scanner. The current CT scanner has been out of operation for over three months, leading to delayed diagnoses. “Our appeal is really to corporates, international foundations, but also to the community because this is the only mother and child hospital in South Africa and I do believe we can come together as a community to achieve our fundraising goals,” she says. The hospital has trained thousands of doctors, nurses, and allied professionals over the years, and hundreds of thousands of babies have been born there over the decades, she added. “We can start with the neonatal ICU and associated wards, and then the dream is to renovate the entire hospital building to make sure that each ward can become a centre of excellence,” she explains.
“We need to work together to make sure that we improve health care in South Africa, because it is something that is a human right and without it being fixed and made a priority, lives are at risk,” she adds. DM/MC
You can make a donation or contribution directly into the trust’s bank account:
Account Name: Footprints 4 Sam Trust
Account Number: 115 855 6756
Branch Code: 198765
Or you can click here to donate: https://pay.yoco.com/footprints4sam
Learn more about the Trust’s 6 key initiatives: www.footprints4sam.org