Strengthening Healthcare Systems in KwaZulu-Natal

CG Chisholm with MatCH team at Addington Hospital
CG Chisholm with MatCH team at Addington Hospital

On Dec 8, Consul General Frances Chisholm visited an important site in the history of healthcare in South Africa, the former Addington Children’s Hospital on the Durban beachfront. Now called the “KZN Children’s Hospital,” its structure is the formerly abandoned Addington Children’s Hospital whose doors were closed in 1984 as it was a “nonracial” institution which rendered services to children of color in an area that had been designated white only by the apartheid government. Restoration of the old hospital into a new KZN Children’s Hospital is one of many projects of PEPFAR funded partner Maternal Adolescent and Child Health (MatCH).

While there, the Consul General met with members of the MatCH team, Dr. Arthi Ramkissoon and Catherine Searle, who oversee the PEPFAR funded programs of Health System Strengthening in eThekwini and uMkhanyakude Districts. The Consul General also met another member of the MatCH team, the renowned Professor Hoosen Mohamed “Jerry” Coovadia, who has been part of the South African struggle for human rights and health care since the seventies. The Consul General congratulated Professor Coovadia on recently being awarded the highly prestigious 2013 Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

This visit was part of a two week program to introduce the new Consul General to PEPFAR funded partners, programs, and the HIV/AIDS and public health situation in the KZN province. She was accompanied by Chalone Savant, PEPFAR Provincial Liaison for KZN.