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Zambian doctors impressed by SA’s TB facilities

Zambian doctors impressed by SA’s TB facilities

Howard Kgoa - Department of Health

Photo caption: A delegation of Zambian doctors with hospital staff during a visit to the King George V Hospital in Durban.

 

A delegation of Zambian doctors on an educational tour to South Africa has lauded the country’s multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB sites.

The four doctors visited MDR units at Tshepong Hospital in Klerksdorp, North West and at the King George V Hospital in Durban. Their visit follows a similar visit by Chinese doctors in April this year.

These visits indicate that South Africa’s healthcare expertise and technological advance is gradually positioning itself as a centre of excellence and the international community is taking note.

Dr Charles Kayuunga, who led the Zambian delegation, said the purpose of their visit was to learn more about the management of drug- resistant TB by observing the management practices at the sites, especially at the National Health Laboratory Services unit in Klerksdorp.

He noted that they were impressed by the professionalism of the staff at the unit. “Nurses at the hospital showed excellent interpersonal skills, which is important for their patients’ quick recovery”.

At the King George V Hospital the delegation observed the renovations that were in progress to improve the quality of patient care in line with world standards. Among the facilities that impressed the delegation was a primary school on the premises which helps children who are infected with MDR TB keep up with their school- work during long periods of hospitalisation.

David Mametja, Cluster Manager TB Control and Management at the Department of Health, said the department appreciated hosting other countries and felt privileged that Zambia had chosen South Africa to learn best practices in health matters.

There are 33 MDR TB sites throughout the country, with some being upgraded and expanded. New wards at an MDR TB complex at Sizwe Tropical Disease Hospital in Gauteng will increase the hospital’s capacity from 266 beds to 312 and introduce single-cubicle beds to prevent the spread of TB infections.

In 2010, the national TB cure rate reached the 70 per cent mark for the first time.

 

For more information about TB, call the Department of Health on: 012 395 8086/8080, or visit www.doh.gov.za