Tše­pong brings hope to Le­sotho

. . . saves govern­ment thou­sands of mal­oti in the process

Lesotho Times - - News - Pas­cali­nah Kabi

A to­tal of 44 Ba­sotho pa­tients in dire need of hip and knee re­place­ments have ben­e­fit­ted from Queen ‘Mamo­hato Memo­rial Hospi­tal (QMMH)’S ini­tia­tive to bring or­thopaedic sur­geons into the coun­try.

tše­pong, as QMMH is pop­u­larly known, de­cided on the ini­tia­tive af­ter re­al­is­ing Ba­sotho con­tin­ued to suf­fer be­cause they could not af­ford the op­er­a­tions done in South Africa — the near­est coun­try where the ser­vice was avail­able — due to fi­nan­cial con­straints.

The sur­geons had their first op­er­a­tion in Fe­bru­ary 2015 at tše­pong and have since suc­cess­fully worked on 44 pa­tients.

Bring­ing the spe­cial­ists into the coun­try is part of the hospi­tal’s ef­forts to re­duce the num­ber of Ba­sotho pa­tients it refers to South Africa.

It costs govern­ment more than M150 000 for each pa­tient who is re­ferred to South African hos­pi­tals for the re­place­ments.

QMMH pub­lic re­la­tions of­fi­cer, Dr Lim­pho Seeiso told the Le­sotho Times the ini­tia­tive fur­ther helps de­velop skills among Ba­sotho.

Dr Seeiso also said pa­tients are re­quired to prove they are fit for the op­er­a­tion which takes up to two hours to per­form.

the surgery, she added, takes place in two the­atres sup­ported by two sur­gi­cal teams each.

“the teams of six com­prise a vis­it­ing or­thopaedic sur­geon, se­nior sur­geon and an as­sist­ing sur­geon from QMMH, an anaes­the­si­ol­o­gist, a scrub nurse and a floor nurse. Dur­ing the five ses­sions in the first year, a to­tal of 46 op­er­a­tions were per­formed on 44 pa­tients,” Dr Seeiso said.

She fur­ther noted a pa­tient may need more than one joint re­place­ment de­pend­ing on in­di­vid­ual clin­i­cal con­di­tions.

“Pa­tients in need of these in­ter­ven­tions have had pro­gres­sively in­creas­ing joint pain, re­duced abil­ity to walk or per­form daily ac­tiv­i­ties.

“the out­come of the sur­gi­cal in­ter­ven­tion brings al­most im­me­di­ate re­lief from pain and re­cov­ery of mo­bil­ity.

“there is a wide range of in­di­ca­tions for hip and knee re­place­ment surgery. these are prin­ci­pally grouped into con­di­tions such as os­teoarthri­tis, post-trauma and those of a con­gen­i­tal in na­ture,” she said.

Dr Seeiso added the av­er­age age of pa­tients un­der­go­ing hip re­place­ment is 65 years, but added there is no age re­stric­tion re­gard­ing the op­er­a­tion.

She how­ever, said a num­ber of fac­tors are taken into con­sid­er­a­tion when se­lect­ing pa­tients for the pro­ce­dures.

“Younger can­di­dates should have achieved to­tal bone ma­tu­rity or reached the end of bone growth while the el­der can­di­dates should be healthy enough to un­dergo surgery with no signs of ad­vanced os­teo­poro­sis or min­eral loss to their bones,” Dr Seeiso said.

The 425 bed Queen ‘Mamo­hato Memo­rial hospi­tal.

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