University of Cape Town: Annual Scrub Run raises thousands for charity

The annual 10 km charity Scrub Run, organised by the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Surgical Society (SurgSoc), managed to raise R50 000 for the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.

Dressed in medical scrubs, the group of medical and non-medical students took to the Sea Point Promenade on Saturday, 16 October, during the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon to raise some much-needed funds for the hospital’s emergency centre expansion project. The funds will aid in creating a safe space for paediatric patients and will facilitate their health and well-being.

“It was wonderful to see so many students brave the cold and rainy conditions in aid of this incredible initiative,” said Buhle Dube, the SurgSoc’s head of community development.

Humbling experience

Dube said curious bystanders stopped runners multiple times to understand why they were running in medical scrubs. She said the runners used this as an opportunity to educate the public on the annual Scrub Run and Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital’s needs.

“It was so humbling to see people’s reactions when we explained our cause.”

The emergency medical centre is currently the only dedicated paediatric emergency facility in southern Africa. About 45 000 children are treated there annually and receive excellent around-the-clock care.

But the centre faces several limitations, including space constraints. The much-needed expansion project will include upgrades to the resuscitation area and will also go towards building additional consulting rooms. Other projects in the pipeline include adding a specialised burn unit, isolation and decontamination rooms, and a treatment and calming room for victims of violence.

“It was so humbling to see people’s reactions when we explained our cause. We used these interactions to raise the necessary awareness,” she added.

A sense of camaraderie

Dube said some runners opted to join the main event at the Sea Point Promenade, while others participated in the race virtually and selected a route of their own around the city.

“Although we didn’t all run together, there was still a beautiful sense of camaraderie, and seeing all those images on social media from fellow Scrub Runners as they completed the race was heart-warming,” she said.

To encourage additional donors to contribute to this worthy cause, the GivenGain platform will remain open until 14 November. Dube encouraged members of the campus community and the general public to donate what they can.

“We’d like to urge the public to continue their donations for the next while so that we can continue to support the incredible work done at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital,” she said.