KZN HEALTH MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo says that the renaming of Lower Umfolozi War Memorial Hospital after Queen Nandi is not only a tribute to the Zulu royal matriarch, but also an affirmation of the big role played by women in society.
(20 February 2018) MEC Dhlomo said: “We were overjoyed when the Hon Premier announced in his State of the Province Address last year that Lower Umfolozi Hospital should be named after Queen Nandi. This happens at a time when we are celebrating more than 200 years of the reign of the Zulu Kingdom. Queen Nandi gave us our King, Shaka, ILembe. With the renaming of this hospital, we are witnessing something that is truly wonderful.”
Queen Nandi Regional Hospital is a designated Mother and Child Hospital which is dedicated exclusively to the care of obstetrical, gynaecological and neonatal patients. It is situated at King Cetshwayo Health District and serves as a referral to the whole region including parts of Zululand and UMkhanyakude Districts. It averages approximately 10,000 deliveries, and performs approximately 2,000 gynaecological surgery procedures, per year. The hospital has 318 beds.
MEC Dhlomo said this facility is already a centre of excellence to support the provision of oncology services, as well as all other ailments that target women and children in the Province.
“Previously, our patients would have to travel for long distances to get to Durban for oncology treatment. We have had an opportunity to create a hub of excellence for mothers and children, and for also oncology services at Ngwelezane/Queen Nandi Complex. The inconvenience of driving from Nongoma to Durban for oncology has now come to an end. There are (oncology) machines here. But we urge our people to come forward to get screened for cancer because out of 10 people, eight are able to get treatment if the cancer is detected early enough.”
Speaking at the ceremony, KZN Hon. Premier Mr Willies Mchunu said the renaming of the hospital is a natural progression, as the district in which it is situated, previously known as Uthungulu, has already been named after King Cetshwayo. “This hospital has previously been called many things. Some called it NPA, other called it Provincial, but from today onwards, there will no longer be confusion. It is known as the Queen Nandi Regional Hospital. Even those who don’t know our history, this will help them know who we are talking about when we talk about Queen Nandi. She is one of our trailblazers that we must never forget about, that we must remember at all times, because she raised King Shaka.”
Premier Mchunu called on all men in the province to visit a primary healthcare facility (clinic) at least once a year, to get a free comprehensive health screening.
“I’m one of those people who are not ashamed to say that I make time every year to check my prostate cancer. Men, you must hear this properly. Prostate cancer targets us, not women. We are the ones who are at risk. We are the ones who, even when we detect problems when urinating, tend to “persevere” even when the signs are there. Go and get checked. Once you are older than 50, you must get your prostate cancer checked. No-one dies just because they got checked. But if you get checked you can prevent death… If diseases get detected early, you can survive.”
Speaking at the ceremony, His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini thanked the KZN Government for renaming of the hospital after Queen Nandi, only a few years after the renaming of Durban’s King George Hospital after King Dinuzulu.