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Improvements in paediatric TB treatment at Tygerberg Hospital

4 February 2020

The Western Cape Government Health (WCGH) is appreciative of the new tuberculosis (TB) equipment which was donated to the Tygerberg Hospital by the Rotary Club of Blouberg recently. With a high rate of TB and other respiratory health issues in the province, this Olympus Paediatric Ultrasound Bronchoscope System is expected to boast less invasive treatment for children. It may also support the treatment of cancer in adults.

Tygerberg Hospital is the first facility in Africa to have received this R3 million equipment, of which R200 000 was contributed by the Tygerberg Hospital Children’s Trust.

According to Professor Pierre Goussard, Tygerberg Hospital’s head of clinical pediatric pulmonology, bronchoscopy is used to look in the airways. “Most pediatric TB has lymph nodes sit outside the airways. This is not visible on bronchoscopy and the scope for adults is far too large for use in children. With the help of radial endoscopic ultrasound, one can locate the lymph nodes with sonar via bronchoscopy. Under ultrasound guidance a biopsy can be done on these lymph whereas in the past, open thoracotomy may have been necessary to get to the lymph nodes. In adults this is used for the diagnosis of lung cancer.”

Improvements in TB treatment

According to Stellenbosch University, TB remains the leading cause of death in South Africa, with more than eight-hundred new TB infections every day. The new equipment is expected to improve the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) in small children. Also, with multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB on the increase, this is important to get samples for diagnosis, to start the correct treatment early. This equipment will also give the hospital the option to do world leading pediatric TB and pulmonology research.

Previously, patients would have to be exposed to radiation in order to undergo treatment. The procedure is safe and well tolerated with side effects nothing more than normal bronchoscopy being done under ultrasound.

“This equipment is very expensive, and we are very privileged that the Rotary of Blouberg and Hospital Trust collected the money, which took three years to raise, with most of the money coming from overseas,” added Prof Goussard.

Media Enquiries: 

Byron la Hoe
Communications
Western Cape Government Health
Cell: 072 368 0596