SIXTEEN patients at the Kimberley Hospital have started receiving hip and knee replacements as part of the three-day outreach programme by multinational medical
equipment manufacturing company Smith & Nephew.
The programme is part of the annual arthroplasty academy outreach to underserved
hospitals. The surgical team will be led by Dr Paul Rowe, who selected the patients through
radiological images from the hospitals in the five districts of the province.
“This annual arthroplasty outreach is hugely beneficial, not only does it offer arthroplasty to deserving patients in state hospitals who have often waited many years for knee or hip surgery but it also trains future generations of orthopaedic surgeons in the appropriate processes and surgical techniques for joint replacement surgery,” Rowe said.
Rowe said he and other doctors in the hospital would be assisting each other to perform the surgeries which were going to be beneficial to the patients, especially the elderly, who at times struggle with walking due to knee problems.
“The acting head of orthopaedics, Dr James Duze of Kimberley Hospital, will be assisting me in leading eight junior surgeons in performing the surgical cases during the 2017 outreach.
“It is very encouraging to see how now, as an established surgeon, he is giving back and it underlines how the arthroplasty academy fosters a spirit of volunteerism that enables quality elective surgery in underserved communities.”
Duze said the surgeries would assist both the patients and the junior surgeons to get exposure to the working environment and conditions.
“For me, it is like coming full circle and I am delighted to help new surgeons coming through,” Duze said. “In state hospitals, we focus on trauma orthopaedics and have little exposure to arthroplasty techniques and technologies. I personally benefitted enormously from the arthroplasty academy and it pleases me to be part of helping needy patients get back to their normal lives.”
Duze said the junior surgeons would each have an opportunity to perform one hip and one knee surgery. He said, in an average year they manage to do 50 joint replacements.
Northern Cape health department spokesperson Lulu Mxekezo said Smith and Nephew donated top quality implants and dressings and surgeons provided the expertise, working with the hospital’s orthopaedic faculty.
“The sixteen patients who have lived with crippling joint pain for a long time will receive hip and knee replacements,” Mxekezo said.
“About 393 patients are on the waiting list for arthroplasty surgery at the Kimberley Hospital.” Head of department Steven Jonkers has also applauded Smith & Nephew for its help in changing the lives of ordinary people.
“We acknowledge the amazing results which impact positively on the quality of ife of our people provided by the generous donation of the Smith & Nephew arthroplasty academy,” Jonkers said.