The campaign launched officially on Thursday 2 December 2010 and has rolled out nationally this year so that hospitals in all the regions are able to benefit. The aim is to match the highly successful effort last year, when enough money was raised to supply the neonatal unit at Groote Schuur Hospital with 24 incubators.
The initial goal was to provide 20 incubators at a cost of R70K each, but thanks to the overwhelming generosity of the media and Cape Town residents, the total was pushed to a whopping R1.7-million, which meant a bonus of another four incubators. The hospital's neonatal unit can now save 432 babies lives every month.
Speaking at the Incubator Campaign launch on Thursday, 2 December 2010, Western Cape Minister of Health Theuns Botha said: "Both the National Department of Health's 10-point plan and the Millennium Development Goals aim to reduce maternal and child mortality. If the care of newborn children can be improved in any way, then these incubators will assist the Department in achieving this goal. The value that this project adds to our services is significant and the Department of Health thanks all partners involved for this initiative."
"We are extremely proud of the Incubator Project, as it unites Cape Town through one significant cause. The saving of a baby's life is a fundamental message that every mother, father, grandmother or grandfather can immediately relate and respond to," says Gavin Meiring, station manager of Heart 104.9FM.
Pick n Pay's Suzanne Ackerman-Berman agrees that there can be no greater cause than to save a child's life. "Our appeal goes to the core of what it means to be human - to nurture and protect babies at all costs, and we urge our customers to support this incredibly worthwhile initiative."
This year, the neonatal unit at New Somerset Hospital will benefit from the initiative. "Annually, New Somerset Hospital delivers 7500 babies and of these babies, 20% would need to be cared for in an incubator because of prematurity," said Minister of Health Theuns Botha. These facts highlight the dire need for incubators at the New Somerset Hospital.
"We're calling on Cape Town to once again open their hearts and their wallets in our effort to save lives. We did it last year and I have no doubt we can do it again. New Somerset Hospital's neo-natal unit is already doing fantastic work; imagine what they can do with your help," said Gasant Abarder, Executive Editor of the Cape Argus
Erica Jacobs of the Newborns Trust reminds contributors of another factor: "Every life saved adds to the legacy of those who have contributed to make it possible."
What you can do to help save a baby's life:
- Pop into any Pick n Pay Supermarket, Hypermarket, Express Store or Daily Store and purchase a R10 donation voucher, or
- Visit any Nedbank branch and make a donation to the Newborns Trust. The branch code is 10 46 09 and the account number 104 652 5999.
All donors stand a chance to win one of 12 R2 000 Pick n Pay gift cards in the lucky draw at the end of the campaign.
Stay tuned to Heart 104.9FM or read the daily edition of the Cape Argus
for more information on the Incubator Campaign. Regular updates will be available on www.1049.fm