Health Minister supports Stephen Saad’s initiative as he raises R10m for children
Durban: Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi’s support of the Sifiso Nxasana Paediatric Trust for the Children of Africa (“the Trust”), which is raising funds for paediatric hospitals, is paying off with R10 million already raised.
The campaign was recently launched by pharmaceutical entrepreneur Stephen Saad, Aspen Group Chief Executive, as a personal commitment to making a quality healthcare difference for all children.
Dr Motsoaledi demonstrated his support of the campaign by leading the field of cyclists alongside Saad in the inaugural 240 km Aspen Trans Karoo mountain bike challenge from Ceres to Sutherland in the Western Cape.
Saad said “The Minister’s commitment to establishing and enhancing healthcare facilities for children has been amazing. His enthusiastic participation in the event proves that he truly cares about their needs and he demonstrated this with his peddling power.”
Dr Motsoaledi supports the urgent need for public-private partnerships in addressing the shortage of paediatric healthcare. “The challenges confronting us are huge and government alone cannot adequately address them. We are glad that Aspen has identified this gap and are sharing our vision of ensuring that all children, regardless of their socio-economic status have access to quality paediatric care in our country”, said the health Minister.
“We have an obligation to care for our children and we’re calling on local and offshore businesses who have an interest in Africa to support the Trust. We’re grateful for the pledges of R10 million received so far and I’m confident that we can raise so much more,” said Saad who has challenged big businesses to follow the Health Minister’s lead and make a meaningful paediatric difference through the Trust.
Saad completed the race just short of 16 hours and said that it was a fabulous feeling to cross the finish line, knowing that his efforts would make a huge healthcare difference for children.
Former South African Iron Man Raynark Tissink won the race with Hannele Steyn being the first lady to cross the finish line. The 18½ hour race route reached its highest point at 185km, with a 724m climb over 6km on a 12% gradient.
South Africa needs more paediatric hospitals. There are only 4 in Africa to serve some 450 million children. The only such facility in South Africa is the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town. Canada has 23, Australia has 19 and there are 20 in Germany.
The two primary beneficiaries of the Trust have been identified as the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital and the Kwa-Zulu Natal Children’s Hospital.
The Trust was established to support the Long Ride for Sifiso Campaign following the untimely passing of Sifiso Nxasana, son of Judy Dlamini and her husband Sizwe Nxasana, CEO of FirstRand Ltd. Judy is the Chairman of Aspen.
To support the Trust, download and complete the Sifiso Nxasana Long Ride Campaign pledge form on www.transkaroomtb.co.za.