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New Lactation Centre for Baragwanath Hospital as RMHC celebrates 10-year milestone.

Ronald McDonald’s House Charities (RMHC) together with McDonald’s South Africa unveiled a new lactation centre at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto today, as well as it’s refurbished family rooms. This as the charity celebrates a major 10-year anniversary milestone.

RMHC assists with improving the health and well-being of sick children who are being treated at hospitals by providing support and a resting place to their families that allows them to stay close to them.

The introduction of a lactation centre at Baragwanath hospital offers a private, comfortable, and supportive environment for mothers to express milk. They will be provided with a comfortable seat as well as a breast pump for the duration of their lactation session. An experienced lactation nurse will also be present to assist mothers who are struggling to express. This program reaffirms our dedication to the well-being of the entire family.

“RMHC is no stranger to Baragwanath Hospital. With over 60 000 mothers giving birth at the largest hospital in Africa, RMHC opened two family rooms at the hospital in 2013, whose intention is to provide a place to rest and regroup at the hospital for families of children receiving medical care. In the past 10 years Ronald McDonald Family Rooms have served over 26 000 families and children,” says Jo-Ann Joffe, CEO of RMHC South Africa.

“This event marks not just a renewal, but a significant enhancement in the support and care we provide to the families of children undergoing medical treatment, “continues Joffe.

The upgrades to the Family Rooms and the introduction of the Lactation Centre have been designed with the needs of families in mind. From comfortable seating to private areas for rest and rejuvenation, every detail has been carefully considered to create a welcoming and supportive environment. These spaces are more than just rooms; they are sanctuaries where mothers can find peace and strength.

In 2017, the first Ronald McDonald House, situated at the top floor of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, was opened. The House provides accommodation, hope, care, and compassion to hundreds of families of sick children receiving specialised treatment each year. The House has 27 hotel styled rooms including a kitchen, dining room, library, meditation room, kids’ playroom, tv room and lounges.

“Nothing else should matter when a family is focused on their child’s health; not where they can afford to stay, how they can pay for transport or where they will get their next meal,” says Nicholas Marcel, Chairman of the RMHC Board.

Published research shows that the Ronald McDonald House helps families cope better and focus on the needs of their sick child due to the support they receive from staff, volunteers and other families staying alongside them at the House.

Congratulating RMHC on its 10-year anniversary, Greg Solomon, CEO of McDonald’s South Africa, says “RMHC aligns perfectly with our purpose, our mission, and our values. As our flagship programme, RMHC cuts across all our 350 odd restaurants, giving us a common purpose and a common focus, making the yellow arches shine brighter every day.”

“We will continue to support the charity and urge it to grow from strength to strength. My gratitude also extends to the broader McDonald’s system, which supports this great initiative in various ways, such as the R5 donations we request from customers, happy meal contributions, staff donations, volunteerism and more. Without this, we would not be able to join hands with RMHC in giving compassion and hope to so many families,” says Solomon.

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