The Mother & Child Academic Hospital Project
Executive Summary


As part of a multi-faceted initiative, the MACAH Foundation together with the UFS is seeking to establish a mother and child academic hospital where patients with complicated diagnosis have the opportunity to be treated by the best specialists, supported by the latest technology to ensure a favourable outcome and quality of life for patients. In addition to that, is the fundamental objective for academic excellence to improve the environment in which medical expert specialists and subspecialists can develop their skills. Tertiary care is being offered to almost a million people from the Free State and Northern Cape, parts of Northwest and Eastern Cape Provinces as well as Lesotho. According to National Health Statistics 2012, the Free State is regarded in the higher quadrant with a child mortality rate almost double that of the national average.

To be a significant and dynamic entity and role player in the mother, infant and child healthcare environment of Central South Africa.
To enable excellence in the mother, infant and child healthcare in Central South Africa to obtain and sustain high quality secondary, tertiary and quaternary care by funding and supporting identified priority initiatives, with special focus on capital, equipment, training, management and research projects.


The most important objectives that will be focused on, is summarized below:


As part of the sustainability of the project, a legal Non-Profit Company with four directors has been registered (NPC Reg 2016/523585/08), which will function as an independent body to generate third stream income and cultivate prospects and investors. The project recently won a grant from The Fuchs Foundation worth R2.25 million as part of their 50th Golden Years Celebration. This grant has is used as seed money to enable the establishment of the NPC, the development of a strong brand and the creation of a professional and successful marketing strategy.


The viability of the project is supported by a completed feasibility study and business case done by a credible, experienced consultation company. The Provincial healthcare service demands, the academic teaching responsibilities and the Provincial political will supports the development of this Mother and Child Academic Hospital as part of the Academic platform. The 250-bed hospital will greatly benefit the community of the Free State and also supports the objectives of the Strategic Development Goals (2016). The project will further strengthen the Free State Strategic transformation plan (STP) by improving access to healthcare for mothers, children and infants, thereby reducing child and maternal mortality and improving their health status. This centre of excellence will generate opportunities for specialist and super-specialist training, world-class research and a strong commitment to rural community health.

This Hospital will be unique, as it will be the first privately owned and managed, Mother and Child Academic Hospital in South Africa serving all patients, and the way in which the model has been conceptualized, may serve as a blueprint for other academic


The first 1000 days of life – from conception to age two – is a critical period during which children’s brains can form as many as 1000 neural connections every second, a once-in-a-lifetime series of events that will never be repeated during their lives. What is key is that these connections are the building blocks of every child’s future.

Unfortunately, that is not guaranteed for the majority of South Africa’s children, which makes it the responsibility of each one of us to do everything possible to support overburdened government resources to help break this inter-generational cycle that condemns our youth to a life of poor learning, lower wages, higher unemployment and increased reliance on public assistance. It can also put them at increased risk for heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers later in their lives.

Improving nutrition and the health of the mother and her child during the first 1000 days can avert much of this serious and irreparable damage, making it imperative for local government departments, international and local organisations, civil society and the private sector to pull together to invest in programmes targeted at this critical period of life.


Due to escalating costs and the need to prioritise funds, it has become increasingly difficult to equip and maintain healthcare facilities. The importance of delivering specialised care in a tertiary/quaternary hospital is of utmost importance. This includes training opportunities, specialised equipment and specialised services. The role of the Children’s Wing project is to raise third stream funds to enable these priorities.

Diagram of campaign and project structure


While the responsibility to provide access to healthcare at all appropriate levels and to reduce peri-natal mortality is firmly entrenched in South Africa’s Healthcare Act, the Strategic Development Goals and our Constitution, it is clear that the Department of Health in the Free State cannot bear this enormous burden alone. That is why the MACAH Foundation, together with the University of the Free State and the Department of Health of the Free State, has embarked on this project as it can change lives and make a difference in our community and country.


Founding directors:
Professor Gert van Zyl
Professor Andre Venter
Dr Riana van Zyl
Newly appointed director:
Ms Khumo Selebano


We need you to make a difference in the lives of our mothers, babies, children and invest in the quality of training of our under- and postgraduate health science students.

Call: Tertia de Bruin +27 82 8086099