On Tuesday, 24th April, the Mother and Child Academic Hospital (MACAH) Foundation will be launched at the University of the Free State. The foundation aims to support and contribute to the medical and health care of mothers, infants and children in central South Africa.
Founded by Professors Gert van Zyl, Andre Venter, Dr Riana van Zyl and other medical professionals, the foundation aims to build a specialised mother and child academic health care facility on the campus of the University of the Free State, which will provide state of the art antenatal care and comprehensive health services for mothers, infants and children. The academic hospital and the staff will service mothers and children from all walks of life, but will be privately owned and operated.
Based on reports by Statistics South Africa, the first 1000 days of a child’s life could hold the key to unlocking his/her life-long potential. By the age of 5 years old, almost 90% of a child’s brain will be developed. Therefore, it is vital that this period is well monitored to ensure the child grows to be a vigorous and happy individual. As nurturers, a mother’s health is just as significant from conception to birth and beyond. This is the main reason for the founding of the Mother and Child Academic Hospital Foundation and the dream of establishing the Free State MACAH (Mother and Child Academic Hospital.)
“In order for us to have a growing, balanced and prosperous community, it is important that we build it on a steady foundation of care for children and mothers who need this the most,” says Professor Venter, who is also HOD of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of the Free State. “This foundation and facilities could certainly provide these much-needed services and contribute to the thriving and flourishing of these members in our community.”
The MACAH Foundation is collaborating with a number of associations, corporates, government departments as well as the University of the Free State in an effort to make this project a success. One of their projects, “Make the First 1000 Days Count” Initiative, worth R20 million, is still in the initial stages.
The founders are calling on corporates, businesses, and individuals to support the MACAH Foundation through their influence, loyalty and financial means.