Businessman steps in with R250000 to help babies

Estelle Ellis

A KIND-HEARTED Garden Route businessman has pledged R250000 to buy paediatric equipment for Dora Nginza’s neonatal and paediatric ICUs.

The generous gift follows the exposé by the Herald yesterday of critical shortages at the hospital.

One of the first donors to approach The Herald was well-known businessman Ronnie Lubner, the chairman of Belron International Limited.

Lubner, who said he had been touched by head of paediatrics Dr Lungile Pepeta’s efforts, promised R250000 to the doctor’s cause.

An excited Pepeta said he was overwhelmed by the large and generous offer, and extremely grateful. He said he had received a number of calls and other offers yesterday.

Pepeta said on Monday he believed the deaths of hundreds of newborn babies could be prevented if Port Elizabeth’s Dora Nginza state hospital was supplied with basic equipment worth just R5-million.

However, his requests for this critical equipment had been ignored for four years by the Health Department.

Pepeta said he and his secretary, Daphne Terblanche, had taken several calls from people offering assistance since the report.

“The Lubner family’s donation is looking good and we have been receiving other calls as well. It is great stuff,” a grateful Pepeta said.

Marelies Kruger, 27, the mother of baby Makyla whose last picture before her death was featured on the front page of The Herald yesterday, said she hoped a lot of good would come from the doctor’s campaign.

“I just wish that someone could have been there for me and Makyla, to help. Maybe, if we had some help, she would also have made it,” she said.

“But at least lots of babies will be helped now.”

Contact (041)406-4327 during weekday office hours if you can help.