KZN Health employees excel in saving lives, healthcare innovation and improving client experience

03 June 2018

A triple bypass on a beating heart, without putting the patient on the standard heart-lung machine. Delivering a set of twins from a high-risk pregnancy at a Community Healthcare Centre instead of a hospital. The graduation of Cuba-trained doctors as specialists. Making strides in the achievement of the 90-90-90 goals for HIV and TB testing, treatment and viral load suppression.

These are some of the remarkable stories that emerged from the KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC’s Annual Service Excellence Awards (MASEA), which took place in Durban on Friday (01 June 2018).

Now in its fifth year, the MASEAs were established to reward individuals and teams who have excelled in various disciplines, having contributed to health service excellence despite challenges.

This glitzy event took place amid a joyful atmosphere, with soul-stirring musical performances which kept the audience, from the length and breadth of the province, enthralled.

It was a memorable day, with individuals and teams receiving a pat on the back for their hard work and sacrifice in various categories, in a quest to save lives and improve the overall healthcare system in the province.

There was a sombre moment when KZN Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo read out the names of 40 Departmental employees who lost their lives due to sudden an unexpected death over the past year.

Winners in the Special Award Category were:

  • Three Cuba-trained doctors Dr PG Mthethwa (specialist orthopaedic surgeon, RK Khan Hospital); Dr SS Zikhali (Specialist Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Edendale Hospital); and Dr SD Ntshalintshali (Specialist Physician, Turton CHC) who all received special recognition for excellence in career progression. They have now graduated as medical specialists in their respective fields.
  • Dr EH Abdel Goad from Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital (IALCH), for leading a team that performed a high tech kidney stone removal operation (known as a mini percutaneous nephrolithotomy surgery), which is regarded as a first in a South African public hospital;
  • Dr Sherwin Ramghulam from IALCH for performing a historic landmark health operation: a triple bypass on a beating heart without putting the patient on the usual heart-lung machine, and saving money for the Department.
  • The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) team from Ethekwini, for going the extra mile in attending to victims and survivors of a serious road crash involving a taxi at KwaXimba in August 2017; and separately also battling serious odds to save lives during the heavy storm and floods in October 2017. Special awards were conferred on Ms T Bederson and, posthumously, Mr V Govender – both from ER 24.
  • Strategic Health Priority Programmes; the Maternal, Child, Women and Health (MCWH) programme; the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Dr Nelson Mandela School of Medicine; and CANSA for their role in achieving a world record for the highest number of people screened for cervical cancer in one day.
  • Prince Nhlanganiso Zulu and Inkosi Phathisizwe Chiliza for their respective contribution in the successful Medical Male Circumcision campaign in KZN (1 million circumcisions done and counting, with no deaths);
  • Dr Nomusa Shezi, from IALCH, for graduating as the first female neurosurgeon in KZN.
  • Dr Sanele Madela and team from Pomeroy Community Health Centre (CHC) for showing dedication and expertise in the safe delivery of twins, from a pregnancy that had been considered high risk and thus suitable for a hospital, which is better equipped;
  • Umzinyashana community members and SAPS for displaying a spirit of humanitarianism in trying to save the life of Dr Sakheni Ncube from Dundee Hospital and a fellow passenger when their vehicle was trapped in a flooding river;
  • Teams from Charles Johnson Memorial and Madadeni hospitals and their EMS counterparts from Umzinyathi District; for service excellence in saving the lives of more than 60 people involved in a truck crash in Nquthu in November 2017.
  • Dr Andreone and team at IALCH for conducting an innovative technique called spray-on skin to attend to burn wounds, which was a first for KZN. (This procedure is used in conjunction with normal skin grafts: the skin graft is widely meshed and the spray-on skin is used to fill the gaps between the meshed graft.)
  • Infrastructure maintenance team at Hillcrest Hospital, for keeping the hospital’s infrastructure in good condition;
  • Financial Management team at Queen Nandi Regional Hospital for good performance in fiscal management;
  • Human Resources Management team at Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital for service excellence in its field.

Also among those who took home top honours were seven employees with a minimum of 45 years of unbroken service. They were Mrs R Nair (nursing assistant, King Edward VIII Hospital); Ms AD Dharumpal (chief radiographer, Osindisweni Hospital); Mrs S Archery (professional nurse, RK Khan Hospital); Mr S Seeram (professional nurse, RK Khan Hospital); Mrs ES Roskrudge (staff nurse, Wentworth Hospital); Ms LM Abrahams (nursing assistant, Wentworth Hospital); and Mrs K Sarjoo (operational unit manager, Verulam Clinic).

Maphophoma Clinic from Zululand District took first place in the Ideal Clinic Realisation and Maintenance category, while Chatsworth Township Centre under Ethekwini Clinic took second place; while Newcastle Primary Healthcare Clinic took third place.

The award for best performance in upholding the National Core Standards went to Townhill Hospital, while Fort Napier Hospital were runners-up; and Ekuhlengeni took third place.

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), has set a target that by 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV must know their HIV status; 90% of those with diagnosed HIV infection must receive sustained antiretroviral therapy; and 90% of those receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression. This is known as the 90-90-90 strategy.

Umgungundlovu was found to be the best performing District in the 90-90-90 Strategy – outcomes category for TB. They were followed by Umzinyathi, Zululand and Ugu districts. But when it came to achieving the 90-90-90 goals for HIV and AIDS, King Cetshwayo took first prize, followed by Ugu and Umkhanyakude District.

Congratulating the winners, KZN Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo said: "We are extremely pleased by the increasing performance of our clinics and hospitals and individuals in various categories, including Ideal Clinics, 90-90-90 strategy on HIV and TB; Improving on maternal and child mortality and improving on general Office of Healthcare Standards Compliance. That is very encouraging and we are happy. To see the best doctors in the province from our hospitals performing extraordinary operations, open heart surgery in the public sector… All of these are accolades that when you put together you see a functioning Department of Health. Notwithstanding certain challenges and programmes… this is an opportunity to thank the staff, motivate them, and say, 'You have done well, thank you very much, but you can still do more.' Those who also won are extremely happy, and those who have not won are hopefully motivated by seeing other people winning and are going out there to do even more. Maybe next year, they are going to be recognised."

Some of the MASEA 2018 winners

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This page last edited on 17 October, 2018

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