The Walter Sisulu Paediatric Cardiac Foundation (WSPCF) is a philanthropic paediatric cardiac foundation for Africa, focussing on delivering life-saving surgery for underprivileged children with congenital heart disorders from across Africa.
The cardiac surgery or intervention is undertaken at the Walter Sisulu Paediatric Cardiac Centre for Africa situated in Netcare Sunninghill Hospital in Johannesburg, as well as at Cape Town’s Netcare Christian Barnard Memorial and Red Cross Children’s Hospitals.
The WSPCF was founded by Dr. Robin Kinsley in 2003, and was established as a living legacy to the late Walter Sisulu who had dedicated his life to helping children in need along with his wife Albertina.
The WSPCF has also been host to a number of international celebrities and states people – many of whom have pledged their support of the good work that is carried out at the centre and what it stands for – and has been featured in international media on many occasions.
Amongst its patrons are former South African president, Mr. Nelson Mandela, and United Nations Global Messenger of Peace, Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Al-Hussein, the of daughter King Hussein Bin Talal of Jordan.
The unit operates based upon three major pillars of excellence – service delivery, skills development and research.
While service delivery remains the WSPCF’s biggest area of activity, it has accelerated its skills development and research initiatives, which aim to train medical staff, both in South Africa and from around Africa, in modern diagnosis and surgical methods, in order to improve the “catch rate” of congenital heart disorders in children.
Most successful amongst its initiatives are an annual Cardiac Congress and various strategic alliances that have been forged with local and international foundations, hospitals and charity organisations to facilitate international skills exchanges and internships for African doctors and cardiac professionals.
In 2010, the WSPCF embarked on an ambitious expansion drive to extend its presence and reach beyond its headquarters in Sandton, Johannesburg.
Thanks to the generosity of its sponsors and partners, the WSPCF has been able to cement solid partnerships with the Netcare Christian Barnard and Red Cross Children’s Hospitals in Cape Town in order to increase capacity to accommodate more children, reduce waiting lists and allow donors’ money to be utilised in more cost-effective ways.
The WSPCF, under the leadership of the Sisulu family, CEO Lynda Bleazard and Dr. Kinsley, continues to go from strength to strength and, to date, has been able to save the lives of over 400 children.