In May, the Director of Empilweni Services and Research Unit (ESRU) and Head of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital, Professor Ashraf Coovadia hosted over 80 invitees to a “Funders Function” to celebrate the opening of a new research building. The event was attended by Mr Abdool Gaffoor Suliman Osman (from the South African Muslim Charitable Trust (SAMCT)), Mr Stanley Fletcher and Ms Ruth Mapara (from the ELMA Foundation), Guest speaker, Mr Mark Heywood (from Section 27) and Professor Beverley Kramer. ESRU has been looking to expand its working support space so as to take on more work. Fundraising efforts began in 2010 soon after a concept design of the building was developed and then pursued.

The new three storey building has a large clinical area on the ground floor for patient consultations including a wing dedicated to sputum collection for suspected TB. It has a large open patient waiting area as well as children enclosed play area. The building has two lecture rooms that can accommodate up to 55 people each.

Professor Coovadia acknowledged the SAMCT, the ELMA Foundation in the United States and the Department of Higher Education funds through the University of the Witwatersrand for contributing to towards the building. Professor Beverley Kramer also thanked the donors on behalf of the Faculty of Health Sciences, and congratulated ESRU for their remarkable achievement.

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