Facility for people with HLH opened at Bara

Organisation: Position: Deadline Date: Location:

Hundreds gathered at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto last week to launch a multimillion-rand facility project to aid people suffering from haemophagocytic lympho-histiocytosis (HLH). The Star reports that this was a tribute to 19-year-old Zakithi Zaza Nkosi, who lost her life to the rare illness in 2016. She was the daughter of mining magnate Daphne Mashile-Nkosi.

The report says in her honour, the Stanley and Daphne Nkosi Foundation, her parents, launched the facility to aid people suffering from HLH. Paying a tribute to her daughter, Mashile-Nkosi said Zaza, as she was affectionately known, would always be in her thoughts. “Today we are opening this facility at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital to house fellow South Africans suffering from this auto-immune disease in your name. I know that you would have blessed and welcome this initiative with open arms and with your characteristic humility.

“We invite you to become the spiritual guidance of this place, to invite the spirit of God to lend a helping hand to the doctors and medical staff as they do their best to save lives in the interest of the affected, our fellow citizens and humanity as a whole,” Mashile-Nkosi said.

The Minister in the Presidency Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and Minister of Social Development Susan Shabangu attended the event.

Mashile-Nkosi’s brother Dr Zakhele Nkosi said the project started last year. “When Zaza passed away, Daphne decided to start a foundation and this project. She has always been a go- getter. I asked her if this was what she wanted to do, and she agreed.

“We stated the journey last year. We are glad that today all the plans have been approved. We have, in the last 16 months, fundraising events so that we can start this project,” Nkosi said.

Dr Cuban Aya described Zaza as a “courageous person” who had faith. He said she initially had a great response to therapy and that she was always positive. Professor Moosa Patel said Mashile-Nkosi had a “burning passion” to help raise awareness about HLH and to get help for her child. “We tried to bring HLH into perspective. The whole issue was how can we educate people and raise awareness. How we can add value to the public sector. Part of this event is to educate ourselves as well.”

The report said Patel thanked the hospital and the community of Soweto for their support. “To government, thank you for the continuous support. I want to dedicate this event to Zaza. You may not be with us, but your memory lives on.”

To know more about the facility and the foundation, visit www.stannkosi.co.za

The Star

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