Upgrades and Renovations Enable Teaching Capabilities at Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital | Western Cape Government


Upgrades and Renovations Enable Teaching Capabilities at Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital

14 February 2011

The Department Of Paediatric Surgery at Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital in partnership with the University of Cape Town hosted the Paediatric Surgery for General Surgeons Workshop on Monday February 14, from 9am until 4pm, at the Pola Pasvolsky Lecture Theatre in D3.

Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital's state of the art new digital theatres linked live to the lecture theatre, to demonstrate surgery on common paediatric surgery conditions and local faculty lectured on wide range of interesting topics.

Cases included Inguinal Hernia, orchidopexy, umbilical hernia and laparoscopy.

Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, said: "We welcome the delegates to the workshop. The provincial government is proud to host a workshop of this nature. I believe that the knowledge and skills transferred in this manner will in the long term contribute to the wellness and well-being of not only the people of this province, but also South Africa and the continent."

The recently upgraded Pola Pasvolsky lecture theatre and the building of the eight specialised paediatric theatres at Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital in 2009, were both made possible through the long-standing public-private partnership between the hospital and the Children's Hospital Trust - which celebrates it's 17th birthday today.

With the building of completion of the Surgical Skills Training Centre, which is currently being built at the hospital, the provincial government's medical teaching capacity will be expanded even more.

The Children's Hospital Trust is currently fundraising for approximately R10.6 million needed to develop a Surgical Skills Training Centre at the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital to serve the region as well as the African continent.

There are currently no dedicated endoscopic surgical training centres in sub-Saharan Africa, forcing African specialists and surgeons to travel to Europe or the United States to train in endoscopic, or minimally invasive, surgery. A teaching facility of this kind is essential to keep African surgeons up-to-date with global surgical techniques and ensure that patients being treated at the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital continue receiving the best possible surgical care.

Karl Storz, a German manufacturer of endoscopic equipment, has pledged approximately R10 million required to equip this facility with the necessary high-tech equipment. Surgeons will use this equipment to master the use of increasingly sophisticated technology and surgical procedures. These skills cannot always be acquired safely in a live surgery setting on patients.

The Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital has an international reputation as a centre for excellence, and is able to deliver paediatric and surgical services equivalent to those found in developed countries. Historically it has played a significant role in assisting other African nations in improving and developing paediatric skills. Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital is therefore optimally situated to be a training hub for the rest of the continent.

The new Surgical Skills Training Centre will provide a platform for teaching surgeons and students across the continent and will not only train paediatric surgeons, but surgeons servicing adult patients as well.

Media Enquiries: 

Lauren O'Connor-May
Principal Communications Officer
Tel: 021 658 5448
Cell: 084 586 1413
Fax: 021 658 5333
E-mail: rxhpro@pgwc.gov.za