On 13 July 2016, the Paediatric Surgery Departments of Frere and Cecilia Makiwane Hospitals in East London received much-needed, state-of-the-art specialised burns surgical equipment worth close to R500 000.
The Frere Hospital Board purchased equipment for the Carte Blanche Theatre at a value of just under R250 000. An equivalent amount to buy identical equipment for the children’s burns unit at Cecilia Makiwane has been made available by the Eyabantwana – For the Children Trust – thanks to a generously-supported public fundraising drive by The Eyabantwana – For The Children Trust, spanning 18 months and involving hundreds of dedicated volunteers.
In November 2014, rock climber, Garvin Jacobs climbed ‘40 routes in a day’ raising R140 000 towards the purchase of essential equipment needed for the treatment of children with severe burns.
In November 2015, in honour of the late Rob Burton, a group of older social cyclists, Grandads Army, cycled to Stellenbosch over four days, before tackling the challenging Stellenbosch Cycle Tour after a single rest day. This ride managed to raise R240 000.
More recently, a fund-raising gala dinner at The Venue at Hemingways with Miss South Africa & Ms World 2014, Rolene Strauss as guest of honour, raised R100 000.
The Trust was established specifically to support the work of the Department of Paediatric Surgery at Frere and Cecilia Makiwane, which serves as the main referral centres for children requiring complex surgery in the Eastern Cape.
Having grown to one of the top such units in the country, the Department is making huge positive impact on the lives of thousands of Eastern Cape children with surgical needs.
Eyabantwana – For the Children’s Trust previously hosted Dr Nikki Allorto, a burn-care specialist surgeon, who shared her expertise on the management of major burns in children in resource poor situations.
Through the Trust, Dr Diana Farmer, a USA specialist who was one of the first paediatric surgeons to perform foetal surgery in the world, visited East London and shared her expertise on Open Foetal Surgery, a surgical technique to treat birth defects in foetuses while still in the uterus.
In 2015, Professor Kokila Lakhoo, from Oxford, England, shared her Global Surgical expertise with our health professionals.
In addition to bringing international expertise to East London for the benefit of local doctors and patients, The Eyabantwana – for the Children Trust has been fundraising vigorously on behalf of Frere and Cecilia Makiwane for several years.
The Carte Blanche ‘Make a Difference Campaign’ raised millions of rands to totally refurbish the children’s operating theatre and through the generosity of the public have created a “State of the Art” facility appropriate to the excellent work being done.
However, serving one of the poorest provinces is a major challenge and budgetary constraints have impacted heavily on the Department’s capacity to upgrade equipment and facilities, hence Eyabantwana’s recent fundraising drive.
Our grateful thanks is extended to all donors and sponsors