FirstRand’s SPIRE fund extends ICU at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital, Gauteng 

JSE-listed financial services group FirstRand established a R100 million South African Pandemic Intervention and Relief Effort (Spire) fund at the end of March to assist the government and its partners in mitigating the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic. Spire’s objective has been to accelerate the scaling of South Africa’s Covid-19 critical care capacity and to support the medical structures and resources of the country. The conditions at Charlotte Maxeke, one of Gauteng’s designated Covid-19 health-care facilities, have been described as dire. Covid-19 infections in Gauteng province have already passed the critical milestone of 40,000 coronavirus cases and experts warn that Gauteng will be the next frontline in the battle against the disease. The SPIRE fund’s provision of additional ICU capacity at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital could not come at a better time. – Nadya Swart

FirstRand media statement: 

At a ceremony at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital (CMAH) today, representatives from FirstRand’s SPIRE COVID-19 support fund unveiled an extension to the hospital’s ICU ward. Containing an additional 29 beds, the extension more than doubles the ICU capacity of the hospital. 

The project was conceived by Professor Mer, the Head of CMAH’s ICU, with the support of Professor Mahomed, Head of Internal Medicine, and the hospital’s CEO, Ms Mogoshi. SPIRE provided R5 million of funding, additional project management services and procurement capacity. This allowed the project to be completed in less than two months. 

Commenting, Mary Vilakazi, FirstRand COO, said that SPIRE was very proud to work with the team at CMAH. 

“SPIRE is humbled by the expertise and commitment of the medical staff at CMAH and we feel very privileged to be in a position to support them as they work tirelessly to care for the people of Gauteng”. 

This project has been used as a template for a number of other ICU expansions supported by SPIRE, including another ward at CMAH, and wards at the Livingston and Dora Nginza Hospitals in the Eastern Cape. Two further projects currently under investigation are at the King Edward VII Hospital in KZN and the Dr George Mukhari Hospital in Ga-Rankuwa.

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