Ngwelezana Tertiary Hospital Project - Carte Blanche Making a Difference Trust

The Trust will be creating a new dedicated Paediatric Unit by renovating and converting one of the hospital’s buildings for this purpose.

27 March 2018

With a primary capital donation from South 32’s Hillside Aluminium, together with a variety of material donations, the Carte Blanche Making a Difference Trust seeks to uplift paediatric facilities and services for trauma and burns patients at Ngwelezana Hospital. The existing facilities for children at the hospital are earmarked for demolition without plans for replacement.

The Trust will be creating a new dedicated Paediatric Unit by renovating and converting one of the hospital’s buildings for this purpose. Sakhiwo Infrastructure Solutions have undertaken to develop this project together with architects – the Hospital Design Group.


Part of the Carte Blanche Making a Difference Trust’s mandate is to support the work of Paediatric Departments linked to State Academic Hospitals. Through these means, more children are given access to specialized treatments and the training facilities are vastly improved.

Apart from the obvious beneficiaries of this project (patients and their families), medical staff will gain from working in modernised facilities and being trained on up to date equipment and treatment methodologies.

The Carte Blanche Making a Difference Trust has completed eighteen hospital projects in ten hospitals nationally. Established projects have shown a reduction in infant mortality and long term complications, whilst staff morale and retention have risen in tandem.

>You can see an overview of the Trust’s projects here – from 2008 to today.

Why Ngwelezana?

Ngwelezana Tertiary hospital is located close to Empangeni and is the only hospital in the Umhlathuze Municipality to offer specialist treatment to people in the region. In addition to forming a teaching arm of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Ngwelezana Hospital also provides district and regional services by way of tending to referrals from King Cetshwayo, Umkhanyakude and Zululand (Region 4).
In spite of the scarcity of paediatric beds available at Ngewelezana Hospital, it is the referral centre for children who have suffered burns, trauma requiring surgery and orthopaedic care. Currently, all paediatric burns and trauma patients at Ngwelezana Hospital are treated in the Adult Burns Ward which is ill-equipped to deal with specialised paediatric care.  When the Burns Unit is full children are referred to other adult wards in the hospital for treatment.

The decrepit environment and absence of appropriate medical equipment invariably contributes towards long-term complications, wound infections, a bad skin graft take rate, immeasurable undue suffering and occasional mortality.

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