Mining mogul delivers on cancer unit promise

Daphne Mashile-Nkosi has committed to building another specialised unit at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital after officially handing over a R75m haematology clinic to the hospital.

Mashile-Nkosi, a mining mogul, made the announcement during the opening of the Zakithi Nkosi Clinical Haematology Centre of Excellence on Saturday which was built in memory of her daughter.

Her daughter Zaza died from hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a condition which causes a person's immune system to destroy their organs. She would have turned 22 years on Saturday.

The fully equipped state-of-the-art facility will provide highly specialised care for patients suffering from cancers of the blood.

Mashile-Nkosi's speech had tearful moments as she recalled the months leading up to Zaza's death and the journey of making sure that the project is completed in time.

"Our journey to this point, however, has not always been exciting; in fact it has been for the most part traumatic for members of my family, Zaza's friends and those who continue to love Zaza beyond the grave," she said.

Mashile-Nkosi said she hoped all citizens across the country would contribute towards the betterment of public health facilities.

She said her interactions with staff at the hospital inspired her to build a paediatric oncology ward which she hopes to launch within 12 months.

Mashile-Nkosi shared the artistic impression of the paediatric ward, saying that it would assist children suffering from cancer, while providing a conducive environment for doctors to do their work.

Head of haematology and oncology at the hospital Prof Moosa Patel said the launch symbolised a significant moment in the history of clinical haematology.

"These types of disorders tend to bring significant suffering and mortality if we do nothing for these patients," he said.

The occasion was attended by clinicians, members of the public and government leaders including newly appointed MEC for health Dr Bandile Masuku.

Masuku described the unit as a magnificent contribution which would help improve the standard of care. "Indeed your noble gesture ignites the spirit of patriotism," Masuku said.

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