OurHealth Women's Health

New high tech machine offers relief for fibroid sufferers

Black women hardest hit by lockdown
Women putting braids (File Image)
Written by Lungile Thamela

Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital has charted another first for Africa as the hospital welcomes a new state-of-the-art machine that will allow women to be treated for fibroids without surgery. The machine has been billed as the first of its kind in Africa.

The medical non-profit Mayo Clinic estimates that fibroids will affect three out of every four women in their lives (file photo)

The medical non-profit Mayo Clinic estimates that fibroids will affect three out of every four women in their lives (file photo)

The new high frequency ultrasound machine delivers focused sound waves through a woman’s abdomen to destroy small areas of fibroid tissue without the patient having to undergo surgery.

Fibroids are noncancerous growths that appear in a woman’s uterus often during childbearing years, according to the US medical non-profit organisation the Mayo Clinic, which adds the condition may affect as many as three out of every four women during their lives.

The growths can lead to pelvic, back or leg pain and can lead to infertility if not treated.

Prior to the machine’s arrival, women had to undergo surgery to remove the growths.

According to Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu, the machine is the result of recent visits to China.

“Myself and former Gauteng Premier Mrs Nomvula Mokonyane, we visited China… where we saw this amazing machine,” said Mahlangu at the machine’s recent unveiling where she commented on the high numbers of Baragwanath patients that had been diagnosed with fibroids.

The machine, valued at R23 million, was donated to South Africa by the Chinese government.

While a new high frequency ultrasound machine is also slated for Pretoria’s Dr George Mukari Hospital, currently Baragwanath is the only hospital in Africa to have such a machine, Mahlangu told OurHealth. She added that the hospital was prioritised due the high number of gynaecology cases it sees.

Mahlangu has vowed that all tertiary hospitals in Gauteng will have a high frequency ultrasound machine by the time she has finished her term as MEC.

About the author

Lungile Thamela

Lungile Thamela is an OurHealth Citizen Journalist reporting from Gauteng's Johannesburg Health District.


  • Hi – I am a medical doctor working in Cape Town and I would like more information on this ultrasound machine please – I would like to know the mechanism, ie what type of ultrasound waves it uses, etc. Please could you give me a contact or name that I could follow up on.

    Kind regards,

    Dr Leah Murray

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