Start main page content

Wits and Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital strengthen partnership

- Wits University

Extended partnership will enable partners to advance critical areas in child health.

Wits University and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital today renewed and entrenched their longstanding commitment, through the signing of a collaboration of agreement, to give effect to Madiba’s vision to care for children and to advance the high-level academic and clinical skills to save the lives of the children of Africa.

The NMCH, a tertiary and quaternary hospital, will now be recognised as a Wits-affiliated academic hospital, with Wits serving as the academic lead. 

“This collaboration will see Wits academics, specialists, clinicians, surgeons and other healthcare professional provide specialty and sub-specialty clinical, educational and research expertise to the public and private paediatric patients of the NMCH,” says Prof. Zeblon Vilakazi, Wits Vice-Chancellor and Principal.

“We will work together to ensure the delivery of high quality clinical services; the teaching and training of health care professionals; the advancement of knowledge; healthcare advocacy; and community outreach.”   

Wits as the lead academic Institution and partner to the NMCH, is responsible for overseeing the activities conducted under the auspices of the clinical training platform. This includes the delivery of high quality clinical services; teaching and training of health care professionals, advancement of knowledge through research.

“The collaboration agreement between Wits and the NMCH is a milestone in that it enables the vison of Madiba to have a world-class facility able to provide quality and affordable high-tech healthcare to children from across the continent, irrespective of their socio-economic background. This agreement will also assist in the training of the next generation of specialists in child healthcare,” says Shabir Madhi, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Professor of Vaccinology at Wits University.

The NMCH is located on Wits’ premises on the Parktown Campus close to the Faculty of Health Sciences. It admitted its first patient in June 2017. The hospital is a dedicated paediatric referral facility serving the children of southern Africa, irrespective of their socio-economic standing, and operates on the basis that no child will be turned away due to an inability to pay.

Ms Konehali Gugushe, COE of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund says having Wits as a partner makes it easy to operationalise Madiba’s vision.

“Ultimately this institution must not only provide for the needs of children but also provide for the skills pool and expertise that we need in the country and the contribution that we need to make to the region.”

We always ask people what will you do to serve like Madiba and Wits has certainly done that and is showing us that they are a partner and will walk with us.”

Collaborating for the good of the country and the continent is a shared goal.

“This is yet another milestone for our hospital and a great step towards advancing our academic ambitions. As a national asset, whose mission is to provide quality care grounded in evidence-based research, NMCH is honoured to now be officially affiliated with Wits University. We look forward to growing this partnership together with other institutions in the region to pave the way for future specialist training”, says Dr Nonkululeko Boikhutso, the Interim CEO of NMCH.

Children had a special place in the heart of Tata Nelson Mandela, the globally respected statesman and father of democratic South Africa. His quote “there can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children” are part of the values that guide the hospital.

Read more:

Twinkle twinkle – a new children’s hospital