Re­lief for or­thopaedic pa­tients

. . . as SA sur­geon op­er­ates at Tše­pong

Lesotho Times - - News - Retha­bile Pitso

THE Queen ‘ Mamo­hato Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal (Tše­pong) in­vited an or­thopaedic sur­geon from the Uni­ver­sity of Cape Town to con­duct knee and hip re­place­ments over the past week­end to as­sist lo­cal pa­tients, many of whom had ei­ther en­dured very long wait­ing pe­ri­ods or been forced to go to Bloem­fontein in neigh­bour­ing South Africa to seek treat­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to the hos­pi­tal’s Public Re­la­tions Of­fi­cer, Lim­pho Seeiso, Marc Nortje was in­vited by the hos­pi­tal to con­duct the op­er­a­tions as the hos­pi­tal did not have the req­ui­site skills to per­form the surg­eries. The in­vi­ta­tion was part of the hos­pi­tal’s de­ci­sion to min­imise the num­ber of pa­tients re­ferred to South Africa for such pro­ce­dures.

Dr Seeiso said Dr Nortje op­er­ated on seven of the eight pa­tients who were booked for the pro­ce­dures, to ad­just their knee and hip joints, while the eighth op­er­a­tion was resched­uled to a later date.

“The pa­tients un­der­went the op­er­a­tions as part of our con­trac­tual obli­ga­tion to per­form hip and knee surg­eries,” Dr Seeiso said.

“How­ever, due to lo­cal skill lim­i­ta­tions, we had been send­ing our pa­tients to Bloem­fontein for such pro­ce­dures. You will find that be­cause the Bloem­fontein Public Hos­pi­tals ser­vice the en­tire Free State and North­ern Cape prov­inces as well as Le­sotho, there is a long wait­ing list of pa­tients seek­ing this par­tic­u­lar sur­gi­cal in­ter­ven­tion.”

Dr Seeiso said the ini­tia­tive was in line with the hos­pi­tal’s in­ten­tion to con­tinue work­ing with in­ter­na­tional spe­cial­ists for the ben­e­fit of lo­cal doc­tors and pa­tients. She added that the main chal­lenge fac­ing the lo­cal health de­liv­ery sys­tem was main­tain­ing up-to-date skill lev­els since Le­sotho does not have the Con­tin­ued Pro­fes­sional Devel­op­ment (CPD) pro­gramme for reg­is­tered doc­tors as is the case in other coun­tries. CPD is the process of track­ing and doc­u­ment­ing the skills, knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence gained both for­mally and in­for­mally be­yond the ini­tial train­ing. CPD is a re­quire­ment in other coun­tries and ex­poses doc­tors to the lat­est and new­est meth­ods of treat­ment.

“When pa­tients are re­ferred to hos­pi­tals out­side of the coun­try, lo­cal doc­tors and med­i­cal prac­ti­tion­ers are de­nied the op­por­tu­nity to work with a spe­cial­ist who can share his or her knowl­edge and skills,” she said.

“When we in­vite spe­cial­ists over, it is ad­van­ta­geous for lo­cal staff who are af­forded a chance to par­tic­i­pate in the treat­ment.

“In this way, it is also cost ef­fec­tive to both the pa­tients and the hos­pi­tal as the costs of wait­ing and other costs as­so­ci­ated with hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sions are dramatically re­duced.

The pa­tient’s so­cial sup­port sys­tem is also en­hanced as fam­ily and friends can eas­ily visit their pa­tients.”

A Med­i­cal Of­fi­cer in the or­thopaedic depart­ment, Daniel Mukala­musi, who worked closely with the vis­it­ing spe­cial­ist, wel­comed the move to in­vite spe­cial­ists to the hos­pi­tal adding that Dr Nortje’s visit was not the first time a spe­cial­ist had been brought in to as­sist in the or­thopaedic depart­ment.

“In 2012 we had a vol­un­tary team which treated about 29 pa­tients and we are ex­pect­ing that more spe­cial­ists will come to as­sist be­cause we do not have the req­ui­site skills to per­form th­ese ma­jor surg­eries,” Dr Mukala­musi said.

“In my depart­ment, we are mostly gen­eral or­thopaedics but for th­ese kinds of pro­ce­dures, doc­tors like Nortje are wel­come to as­sist us in help­ing our pa­tients and not send­ing them to other places at great ex­pense.”

Dr Mukala­musi said Dr Nortje took less than two hours to op­er­ate on each pa­tient, a pro­ce­dure which would nor­mally take some­one with­out his ex­per­tise a whole morn­ing.

“Each op­er­a­tion took be­tween one and a half hours to two hours due to a com­bi­na­tion of his skills and the ex­pert way the or­thopaedic team that was work­ing with him dis­played,” he said.

“We have all been im­pressed by the way we have man­aged to work with one an­other, from the pain re­lief man­age­ment to the group that was ad­min­is­ter­ing the anaes­thetic.”

He also ex­pressed hap­pi­ness at the suc­cess of the op­er­a­tions which have re­sulted in the treated pa­tients re­gain­ing their abil­ity to walk unim­peded.

When Le­sotho Times vis­ited the pa­tients on Tues­day, the pa­tients ex­pressed heart­felt grat­i­tude at the treat­ment the hos­pi­tal had given them, say­ing the cor­rec­tive op­er­a­tions had given them a new lease of life.

Mabahlakoana Mapetla (60) from Lower Thamae in Maseru re­ceived hip treat­ment which re­stored abil­ity her abil­ity to walk nor­mally.

“I am happy for all of us who have re­ceived treat­ment be­cause we will no longer be mocked by so­ci­ety be­cause of the dis­abil­ity we used to have,” Ms Mapetla said.

“We are thank­ful to gov­ern­ment for sup­port­ing this hos­pi­tal with the doc­tors and the state of the art equip­ment that is be­ing utilised here. The doc­tors and nurses have been look­ing af­ter us well.

“We will con­tinue with our treat­ment and to prac­tise good eat­ing habits in or­der to abide by the ad­vice the doc­tors have given us to main­tain good health.”

‘Mabahlakoana Mapetla af­ter her hip-re­place­ment surgery on Tues­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.