The Lolo Wing Surgical Centre of Excellence, officially opened in Cape Town this week and has theatres units catering specifically for cardiac, burns, emergency and septic orthopaedics, ophthalmology, ear, sose and throat (ENT) and ccopes. The centre has also been equipped with three digitalised theatres for neurosurgery, spinal orthopaedics, general endoscopy as well as urology and plastics.
The digital system is the first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa and on par with the most advanced installations in the US and Europe.
Dr Dimitri Erasmus, the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer said the facility was a significant addition to the hospital placing it on the map in terms of children surgery while it provided a an excellent working environment for the staff.
‘The working environment for the 100 plus staff will improve significantly. Better working conditions can help attract and retain high quality surgeons and staff,’ said Erasmus.
The hospital provides training to paediatric professionals throughout the sub-continent while taking part in important research into childhood illnesses.
‘The wear and tear on the valuable equipment will be drastically reduced as the new equipment is dedicated to each new theatre and no longer needs to be moved between the various theatres. This will result in greater efficiency and improved patient outcomes for the more than 700 patients undergoing surgery every month,’ said Erasmus.
Professor Alastair Millar, head of Paediatric Surgery said the facility would play a vital role in exchanging knowledge with surgeons across Africa and globally.
‘The superb audio visual equipment installed in three of the new theatres means that we can share what we do with our colleagues in South Africa, Africa and around the world. We are able to both teach and learn so that we can improve care for children requiring surgery,’ said Millar
‘Before the facility was built there was lack of space in the theatre rooms. There was no room to move around when preparing for an operation. It is also fantastic to see that there is so much life in the theatre from the moment one walks through the door,’ said Abdulla Soeker an anaesthetics professional nurse.
Apart from state of art theatre rooms the R125-million project has a new waiting area for families of patients. In thepast they had to sit on a long bench in the passage. Patients also have a new recovery room with adequate space and equipment at each bedside. A staff rest area with a kitchen, separate change rooms for men and women, a scrub area, a sluice room and other additions are located within the facility.
Western Cape Premier Helen Zille said it was amazing that the partnership between the hospital, funders, the community and the province could result in the creation of a facility that could provide adequate services to children from all walks of life, particularly those from poverty stricken areas.
Zille said the number of people needing access to health care continued to escalate making it crucial to expand and retain skills in the health sector.