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The Elton John AIDS Foundation has donated R50 million to the KwaZulu-Natal Children’s Hospital based in Durban.

A recent post on the Facebook page of the foundation reads: “A huge thank you to our loyal and generous supporters who helped us raise over 3 million pounds for the fight against HIV/AIDS at the Woodside Gallery Dinner. The money raised will go towards supporting people living with HIV around the world, particularly adolescents through a new HIV Adolescent Treatment Centre at the KwaZulu-Natal Children’s Hospital in Durban, South Africa.”

The donation will go a long way to resurrecting the children’s hospital to include a centre for HIV-positive teenagers.

KwaZulu-Natal Children’s Hospital Trust chief executive Dr Arti Ramkissoon contacted the performer’s foundation after hearing of his commitment to helping young people with HIV at last year’s International AIDS Conference in Durban.

“There was a lot of publicity around his interest in young people living with HIV. I immediately tried to get hold of his foundation and managed to get someone there to talk to me and by some miracle we managed to get Elton to come and visit us. He walked around the project. I think he was quite affected by the challenges that these young people have.”

She further explained how the funds will be used:

“The funding is going to be used to build a centre for adolescent health from 10 until 18 years of age. They have very specific medical, also psychological needs and challenges which we are going to try and address and respond to in this new centre.”
Last July, Elton visited adolescents living with HIV at the KwaZulu-Natal Children’s Hospital where he stressed the importance of helping young people overcome their disease and stigma by expanding their access to treatment and care.
Responding to the AIDS crisis in Africa is a priority for his organisation, which has focused on youth and LGBT people. In 2015, the EJAF established Young Survivors, a fundraising campaign to save the lives of young people living with HIV in selected African cities.