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OUR 40th Anniversary - Healing Kids: The National Project



Phase II Project Impact

Mindful of the fact that neonatal mortality rates (NMR's) are not easily reduced in a short period of time, the Foundation plans to undertake a formal impact assessment of Phase II, only during July 2010. Nevertheless, early indications are most promising and this phase of the national Anniversary project has already received wide support and encouraging feedback from various role-players in the fields of Paediatrics and Neonatology.

Several reports are starting to show the positive impact of implementing a multi-pronged integrated approach to reducing neonatal mortality rates in various hospital settings. Specifically, the initial results reported by the beneficiary hospitals relate to improvements in such important areas as:

an actual reduction in NMR's during the project period
noticeable decreases in various infections
major savings in terms of formula milk
vast changes in nursing staff morale, attitudes and teamwork
shorter hospital stays for many babies, also alleviating overcrowding
increased levels of awareness and general acceptance of Kangaroo Mother Care practices
much improved facilities and the acquisition of sorely needed equipment
enhanced access to and improved levels of ventilation capacity
significant increases in mothers' involvement, reducing workload for the nursing staff
greater collaboration among related disciplines within the hospital settings
more comfortable, renovated facilities
the introduction of human breastmilk banks, nationally
promotion of the "flash-heating" technique for HIV-positive mothers
improved neuro-development care in the Intensive Care Units
enhanced skills, training and development of nursing staff
a general improvement in the quality of care provided to paediatric patients at these public hospitals.

The Foundation would like to thank each and every Healing Kids beneficiary, our various partners and service providers, participating hospital administrators, clinicians and nursing staff, the fundraising units, their support teams and volunteers, as well as the following for their special contributions made to the project:

the guidance and advice from the Medical Research Council of SA
the administrative support provided by One Life to Live
the neuro-development specialist training rendered by Little Steps, and
the enthusiastic dedication of the SA Breastmilk Reserve.

As the initial 3-year cycle allocated to the Healing Kids project draws to a close, the Board of Trustees will be considering an extension of this worthy development initiative, both in memory of the late Dr Carl and Mrs Emily Fuchs and in celebration of 40 years of grantmaking excellence by the Foundation created in their names.