Mowbray Maternity Hospital launched the countdown to the official centenary celebrations on Tuesday, 12 April 2016. The event marks one hundred years of quality maternity service to the local community.
The launch marks the nine-month countdown until the hospital celebrates its 100th birthday on the 13th December 2016. Chairperson of the Health Facility Board at the hospital, Dr. Malika Van De Schyff says the symbolic theme behind the countdown aims to highlight the full term expectancy of pregnant mothers.
Schyff told VOC that the facility has become a cornerstone of hope for anxious expecting mothers in a largely disadvantaged community.
“Mowbray Maternity has achieved so much. One of our millennium goals is to decrease maternal fatality. I believe that we have been successful in this goal thus far. In 1993 we were doing about 4 500 deliveries a year, now we conduct up to over 10 000 deliveries a year.
Furthermore, with the stress of delivering a baby, there is great pressure for any facility to offer a good service. Van De Schyff adds that this pressure has offered the hospital an opportunity to grow and now it offers a unique maternal and neonatal service within South Africa.
The hospital has also become a teaching institution for hopeful medical practitioners. But with every venture new obstacles present itself. Van De Schyff explained that the main challenge is the capital resource in order to support the hospital with the required equipment and infrastructure to function optimally.
“Our numbers are increasing and sometimes our staff compliment decreases. There are also an increasing number of women requiring immediate and high-level care at this hospital and sometimes the current resources get stretched,” Van De Schyff continued.
Despite these challenges, the hospital managed to secure a win at the Premier’s Excellent Service Award for Service Delivery. Van De Schyff says the institution has become a silent hero in the community.
Van De Schyff further stressed the importance of support and participation from the local community.
“Members of the community often come out and help with finances to address the scarcity of certain resources and maintaining equipment. We encouraged the community to keep an eye on the institution and understand that this is a hospital that can use the help of the community. We accept any donation from small blankets for the neonatal ward to somebody funding a CTG machine that has broken down. This will ultimately help with saving a baby’s life.”
VOC (Raeesah Isaacs)