Media releases

Upgrade of catheterisation laboratory at Netcare St Anne’s Hospital completed

Netcare St Anne’s Hospital

Friday, January 19 2018

The cardiac centre at Netcare St Anne’s Hospital in Pietermaritzburg has re-opened its upgraded catheterisation laboratory, a state-of-the-art facility in which a range of cardiovascular diseases can be diagnosed and treated using minimally invasive interventions.

Commenting on the upgrades, Netcare St Anne’s Hospital general manager, Louis Joubert, said that the catheterisation laboratory had been completely upgraded and equipped with the latest technologies. Another first for the hospital is that it now also offers a range of heart rhythm disorder treatment services.

“We are tremendously excited by these developments, which expanded and strengthen the cardiac services offered at Netcare St Anne’s Hospital cardiac centre to the benefit of patients from the greater Pietermaritzburg and KZN Midlands areas who are suffering from any form of cardiovascular disease or heart rhythm disorders,” added Joubert.

“Netcare St Augustine’s Hospital also extends a warm welcome to cardiologist, Dr Kevin Michael, who specialises in electrophysiology, or the electrical system of the heart, and heart rhythm disorders, as well as interventional cardiologist, Dr Yuvashnee Govender. They joined our existing team of cardiologists, Dr Kyi Shein, Dr Sanjay Maharaj, Dr Aine Mugabi and Dr Elias Baig,” added Joubert.

Joubert explains that a catheterisation laboratory is a facility with diagnostic imaging equipment used to visualise the vascular system and the chambers of the heart in order to accurately diagnose cardiovascular conditions, and to guide treatment through minimally invasive interventions.

“In appropriate cardiovascular cases, minimally invasive interventions are used instead of open surgery which typically involves larger surgical incisions and tend to be more physically traumatic with longer recovery periods.”

Joubert says that there has been an increased demand for such interventions in the Umgungundlovu district, and around the world in recent years. “We wanted our patients to have easy access to these services right here on their doorstep,” he observes.

“The technology and equipment installed in our new catheterisation laboratory includes a highly sophisticated Siemens Artis Q imaging device, which has a new generation X-ray tube and flat detector which decrease radiation doses and enhances both 2D and 3D imaging.”

 “We would like to thank our patients, doctors and staff members for their patience during the building and upgrade process,” says Joubert.

 “One of the goals of the upgrade was to ensure that our hospital is in a position to meet the treatment needs and exceed the expectations of our vascular and cardiac patients into the future. We want our patients to know that they always remain in safe hands when they are a patient at Netcare St Anne’s Hospital,” he concludes.


Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare St Anne’s Hospital
Contact: Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville, and Pieter Rossouw
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
Email:,,, or


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Hospital’s community outreach project to support local hospice patients

Hospital’s community outreach project to support local hospice patients


Monday, January 15 2018

A new year brings with it the promise of fresh beginnings and, for many, it also provides new opportunities to bring about positive change in the lives of others.

It was with this in mind that the management and staff members at Netcare N1 City Hospital in Cape Town set about exploring how they could make a meaningful contribution to the local community through its 2018 community outreach initiatives.

“We wanted our community outreach programme to have maximum positive impact and be sustainable. After much research and planning we consequently elected to support the Tygerberg Hospice, which has played a critical role within our community for many years,” says Ms Marilyn Lameyer, regional radiation therapy manager - Western Cape about Netcare N1 City Hospital’s staff members’ generous contribution towards the project.

The Tygerberg Hospice, situated in Bellville, Cape Town, provides post-acute, rehabilitative as well as end-of-life care to patients including comprehensive assessments, care planning, active therapy and treatment. The vision of the facility is to provide in-patient transitional care that enables patients to regain skills and abilities to support them with daily living after they are discharged.

Lameyer says that Tygerberg Hospice has a strong patient-centric ethos and places a considerable emphasis on patient care. “This echoes Netcare’s core values, with which the hospice shares a number of synergies. Tygerberg Hospice is undertaking wonderful work, and we consider it a most worthy recipient of our support,” he adds.

According to Lameyer, staff members from the hospital visited the hospice prior to the holidays to hand over gifts to the patients and provide them with some festive cheer. She says that the hospital and its staff members will continue to lend support to Tygerberg Hospice in the form of donations, visits, gifts and in any other way it is able to.

“We trust that we will have a long and fruitful relationship with Tygerberg Hospice and hope to assist in providing their staff and management with the support they need to continue the excellent work that they do for their patients and their families,” concludes Dr van Wyk, general manager at Netcare N1 City Hospital who fully supports this project.

Issued by:           Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare N1 City Hospital

Contact:              Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville or Pieter Rossouw

Telephone:          (011) 469 3016

Email:        ,, or

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Mandini mum thrilled to take home baby born three months prematurely

Parents and doctors feared for baby Thabisile’s life

Monday, January 15 2018

A mother from Mandini in KwaZulu-Natal is overjoyed to be able to take her baby son home from a North Coast hospital, having feared for her little boy’s life when he was born prematurely late in September last year.

Mom Thabisile Zama Zungu and dad Buhle Mavuso were a picture of happiness as doctors and staff at Netcare Alberlito Hospital gathered to bid farewell to the family, including baby Nkosinathi Mavuso, last Friday.

Nkosinathi was born three months prematurely, weighing just 920 grams. When he was finally discharged from hospital late last week, he weighed a healthy 2,91 kilograms, according to paediatrician, Dr Strini Chetty, who practises at Netcare Alberlito Hospital and treated Nkosinathi.

“As Nkosinathi was born so prematurely and doctors were initially so concerned for his survival, the first few weeks of his life were very stressful for us as a family,” related Thabisile.

“Nkosinathi had to spend a total of three months in hospital, including over the festive season. We are so happy and grateful to finally take our precious boy home for the first very first time,” she added.

Thabisile said she visited her gynaecologist for a routine six-month consultation on 26 September 2017 and did not expect any problems. An ultrasound investigation however revealed that her baby had moved into a position that indicated that the birth was imminent and she was advised to seek urgent medical attention at a local hospital.

“I was in a state of shock and disbelief to hear that I was going to have to deliver my baby so prematurely; I think it was the saddest moment of my life. Nkosinathi was delivered at 20:05, just hours after we had first received the news,” relates Thabisile.

Thabisile says that doctors at the hospital were concerned that her baby had been born too prematurely to survive, and tried to prepare her for the worst.

Nkosinathi, however, proved to be a survivor and two weeks after his birth he was transferred to the Netcare Alberlito Hospital neonatal intensive care unit under the care of the highly experienced Dr Chetty. He visited Thabisile twice before arranging the little boy’s ambulance transfer to Netcare Alberlito Hospital neonatal intensive care unit on 9 October 2017.

“We are most grateful to Dr Chetty and the nursing staff at the neonatal intensive care unit for the passion and care they showed to my son and I, as well as for their ongoing support. I would also like to thank the management team at the hospital for providing me with accommodation at no charge to use as and when I needed to be close to Nkosinathi,” added Thabisile.

According to the hospital’s general manager, Dr Augusta Dorning, the doctors and staff at the facility became very fond of Thabisile and his family while the little boy was cared for at the hospital.

“Thabisile must be one of the smallest babies we have cared for,” observes Dr Dorning. “It was wonderful to see him steadily gather strength, to become the happy bouncing baby he is today, and to reach a point where he was strong enough to be discharged home.

“We are most gratified that we could be of service to this wonderful family and wish them all the very best for the future,” she concludes.


​Issued by:           Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare Alberlito Hospital

Contact:              Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville, and Pieter Rossouw

Telephone:          (011) 469 3016

Email:         ,,, or

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Joburg man recovering well after suffering a heart attack on holiday

Ballito GP and Netcare 911 paramedics team up for successful resuscitation


Monday, January 15 2018

A Johannesburg man holidaying with his family in the coastal town of Ballito on KwaZulu-Natal’s Dolphin Coast was fortunate that help was at hand to deliver lifesaving care when he suffered a heart attack on New Year’s Day 2018.

Johannes Pieterse, 45, who is now recovering back home, recounts: “On New Year’s Eve, I experienced some chest pain and thought perhaps I had ‘overdone it’ during the festive season. I decided to go for a check-up with Ballito general practitioner, Dr Ryall Hamlyn, and thank goodness I did, or I may not be here today to tell the tale.”

Dr Hamlyn, whose practice is opposite Netcare Alberlito Hospital, says that Mr Pieterse phoned his rooms early on 1 January, asking whether the doctors were consulting on the public holiday and mentioned that he had experienced chest pains the day before.

“When he arrived for the appointment, Mr Pieterse explained that he had angina-like pain for approximately 15 minutes the previous day. Even though he did not have hypertension or unhealthy cholesterol levels, he told me that his father had suffered a stroke at the age of 60, which we consider to be a significant familial risk,” Dr Hamlyn explains.

The doctor performed an electrocardiogram (ECG), which measures electrical activity and muscle function of the heart, which did not register any abnormalities. “The patient was still having mild chest pain, and suspecting the likelihood of acute coronary syndrome, I insisted he have blood tested urgently for cardiac enzymes.  I instructed him to go immediately across the road to Netcare Alberlito Hospital’s Ampath Laboratory.

At this point, Mr Pieterse was resting on a couch in the doctors’ waiting room when suddenly he started gasping for air and collapsed. “I checked his pulse, but there was nothing, and he started turning grey. My wife, who is a registered nurse, and I started performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation [CPR] immediately,” Dr Hamlyn recalls.

“My wife phoned the Netcare 911 national emergency operations centre, however another man who was in waiting room had already run across the road to the Netcare 911 base at the hospital to summon assistance and a paramedic crew immediately responded.”

Netcare 911 intermediate life support paramedic, Donny Govender, and basic life support paramedic, Sundheer Singh, took over CPR while Dr Hamlyn briefed them on the patient’s condition. Seconds later, advanced life support paramedic, Shaun Paul, arrived to attend to the critically ill patient.

“Mr Pieterse was in ventricular fibrillation, which is an often-fatal type of heart rhythm disturbance, and his skin was turning blue because his heart was not able pump and circulate oxygenated blood throughout his body. Fortunately, with early intervention and the aid of a defibrillator, we were able to treat this life-threatening condition,” Paul notes.

Paul administered a therapeutic electrical shock, known as defibrillation, and Singh continued CPR as the defibrillator showed that the patient’s heart was now exhibiting pulseless electrical activity (PEA), meaning that a heart rhythm was present but did not produce a pulse, while Govender administered an intravenous fluid challenge.

“Within minutes, Mr Pieterse’s heart developed a good pulse. We intubated the patient and kept him on a ventilator in a medically-induced coma, however his condition had stabilised and we were able to transport him to hospital for further care,” Paul says.

Mr Pieterse was later diagnosed with an inferior myocardial infarction, meaning that one of the main arteries of the heart had become blocked, resulting in a heart attack.

“I woke up in hospital and a stent was inserted to clear and support the artery that was blocked. I am so grateful to Dr Hamlyn and his wife, the man who ran across the road to call the paramedics, and Netcare 911 for their efforts that certainly saved my life. If not for them, I would probably not have lived to see more than the first day of 2018,” says Pieterse.

Dr Hamlyn says: “Having oxygen and emergency equipment at hand, the prompt intervention, including early goal-directed resuscitation and access to appropriate emergency cardiac care that this patient received certainly played an important role in the positive outcome of this case. Saving Mr Pieterse’s life was a great team effort in which everyone did their part. Had he left my office two minutes earlier, he would have died.”

Paul says the patient’s positive outcome was largely attributable to the streamlined ‘chain of survival’ care that Mr Pieterse benefitted from.

“Chain of survival is a principle of emergency cardiac care that includes early recognition of cardiac arrest, activation of appropriate emergency medical services, immediate CPR and early defibrillation, as well as advanced cardiac life support and in-hospital treatment for post-cardiac arrest care.

“We later visited Mr Pieterse in hospital and were delighted to learn that he would soon be discharged. It was a privilege to be part of the team effort that saved his life,” Paul concluded.

Issued by:           MNA on behalf of Netcare 911

Contact:              Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville and Pieter Rossouw

Telephone:        (011) 469 3016

Email:       ,, or

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Krugersdorp woman survives three heart attacks and a stroke to be home this festive season

Mother’s recovery after coma is “something of a miracle”

Wednesday, December 20 2017

A 55-year-old Krugersdorp woman is thrilled to be able to spend the festive season and celebrate her birthday on Christmas Day with her family after having recovered from three heart attacks and a stroke that led her doctors to fear for her life.

Belinda De Beer was discharged home on 12 November 2017 home from Netcare Krugersdorp Hospital after undergoing successful open-heart surgery and spending two and a half months in hospital. Her treating physician, Dr Alexia Gugulethu Magubane, describes her recovery as “something of a miracle”.

Photo: Belinda De Beer (right) of Krugersdorp with her treating physician Dr Alexia Gugulethu Magubane at Netcare Krugersdorp Hospital

De Beer was admitted to Netcare Krugersdorp Hospital’s emergency department after having suffered two heart attacks on 16 September this year.

Her daughter, Ansja, says that when she arrived home on that fateful day, her mother had complained that she felt tired and that she felt that her bronchitis and flu symptoms were flaring up again before suddenly collapsing. Alarmed, Ansja called the emergency medical services.

Paramedics rushed De Beer to a hospital on 16 September 2017. However, no cardiologist was available to assist there, so she was transferred to Netcare Krugersdorp Hospital’s emergency department on 19 September. There she was rushed into the hospital’s catheterisation laboratory for an emergency angiogram investigation, but while there she suffered a third heart attack as well as a stroke.

According to Dr Magubane, there was a complete lack of electrical brain activity for a few days following the patient’s stroke. “We were all deeply concerned about Mrs De Beer,” admits Dr Magubane. “We treated her in the intensive care unit of the hospital for the stroke and heart condition, and were relieved when she finally came out of the coma.”

De Beer spent a number of weeks recovering and undergoing rehabilitation and, once strong enough, could finally be operated on by cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr Ellias Zigiriadis. Dr Zigiriadis, who is fondly known as “Dr Zigi” by many of his patients and hospital staff, was able to successfully perform an intricate triple heart bypass operation.

“It was a close call and we are all thrilled that Mrs De Beer has finally been able to go home to spend the festive season and her birthday with her family. I ascribe her recovery in large part due to her unbelievable fighting spirit, and the loving support of her family throughout this traumatic time,” relates Dr Magubane.

Ansja says that it was in large part thanks to Dr Magubane and Dr Zigiriadis that her mother survived her ordeal. “They were unbelievable, explaining everything clearly and honestly to us from the outset and every step of the way.

“Dr Magubane was much more than a doctor; during this difficult time she became a friend of my mother and our family. I don’t think I have come across such caring doctors before, and my family and I will be forever grateful to them.”

Ansja says that she lost her father on 22 March 2017, which she believes “affected her mother deeply” and gravely impacted her health.

“My father was disabled for seven years and my mom took care of him. She has a very big heart; both of my parents are fighters! We are extremely grateful and blessed to be able to have my mom with us this festive season and to celebrate her birthday on Christmas day!”

In addition to Dr Magubane and Dr Zigiriadis, she also paid tribute to some of the nurses and staff at Netcare Krugersdorp Hospital, who she says went above and beyond the call of duty to assist her mother and family.

“Sister Tendani Matodzi in the surgical ICU does her work with passion and love and not just because she has to. She once worked a whole night shift and then stayed over time with my mother until she had to go to theatre the following morning. She also always checked that my family and I were coping,” adds Ansja.

“We would also like to thank Sr Martie Buitendag from cardiothoracic intensive care unit, Sr Chuck Mdletye from cardiothoracic intensive care unit and Ada-May Thompson, who is one of the administrative staff members but who nevertheless often went out of her way to help us through what was a very difficult time. The hospital general manager Eugene Ferreira and patient liaison officer Liesl-Marie Simons were also immensely helpful throughout.”

Dr Magubane advises that heart attacks are usually caused by coronary heart disease (CHD), a condition where the coronary arteries (the major blood vessels that supply the heart with blood) become blocked with deposits of cholesterol, known as plaques. During a heart attack one of these plaques bursts, causing a blood clot to develop which then blocks the supply of blood running through the coronary artery, thereby triggering a heart attack.

The first hour after the onset of a heart attack is called the ‘golden hour’, which is a critical time as the heart muscle starts to die within 80 to 90 minutes after it stops getting blood. It takes about six hours for the affected areas of the heart to have irreversible damage.

“Many people tend to ignore the symptoms of a heart attack until it is too late because of fear of embarrassment or a mistaken belief that the problem is related to heartburn. However, if the symptoms are correctly identified and appropriate medical care is given quickly within this period, near-complete recovery may be expected.

“Recognise the symptoms of a heart attack, call for help immediately and get to the most appropriate hospital promptly,” advises Dr Magubane.


Issued by:    Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare Krugersdorp Hospital
Contact:    Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville and Pieter Rossouw     
Telephone:    (011) 469 3016
Email:,, or


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Troubleshoot domestic travel these holidays for a relaxing break

Make the most of the festive season with these practical tips

Monday, December 18 2017

South Africa’s immense natural beauty and wealth of holiday destination options means that we are spoilt for choice in domestic travel. To make the most of the summer holidays, there are a number of precautions that will help to safeguard against health-related difficulties that could hamper festive enjoyment.

“With South Africa’s stunning sandy beaches, majestic mountains and our country being home to no fewer than eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it is little wonder that many of us are choosing to ‘keep it local’ for our summer holidays,” says Dr Pete Vincent of Netcare Travel Clinics and Tokai Medicross.

“Even in our own back yard, however, there can be any number of health-related dangers or inconveniences for the unwary traveller. With a little forward planning and some sensible precautions, however, there is much one can do to help ensure that your well-earned break is not marred by preventable ailments and accidents.”

Holiday driving precautions
“Before setting out on your journey, have your car serviced and the tyres checked for road worthiness. Please make sure that everyone in the vehicle is safely buckled up and keep to the speed limits and the rules of the road. Maintaining a safe following distance is a critical aspect of road safety,” Dr Vincent advises. 

“Never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and prevent driver fatigue by taking regular breaks, at least every two hours, and changing drivers if possible.”

Swimming and water safety
“Any water source is a potential drowning hazard. Do not leave children unattended around water, and supervise them closely because drowning can happen quickly and silently. Also be very vigilant on rocky shores where waves can be unpredictable. 

“Even strong swimmers should be cautious when swimming in the sea as the conditions are very different from those of a swimming pool. Obey lifeguards and only swim at designated swimming areas,” he warns.

“Alcohol and swimming or boating do not mix, as one needs to remain fully alert. For those who will be yachting or boating, ensure that there are enough lifejackets in good condition for all aboard.” 

Sun protection
“It is important to protect yourself and family from excessive sun exposure, which can lead to the development of skin cancer in the future. Avoid outdoor activities between the hours of 10h00 and 15h00 when the sun is at its fiercest,” Dr Vincent adds. 

“Wide-brimmed hats and UV protective clothing should be worn to help prevent sunburn, and a high sun protection factor sunscreen should be applied liberally 20 minutes prior to sun exposure and reapplied every two hours – and more frequently if you are swimming or perspiring.”

Dr Vincent notes that certain sunscreen ingredients may be harmful for the environment. “Sunscreens containing oxybenzone, butyl paraben, octinoxate and 4 methylbenzylidine have reportedly been found to be harmful to coral reefs and these should be avoided if you are intending to swim in the ocean. Those that are zinc oxide or titanium oxide based, on the other hand, have not been found to damage coral.”  

“As advised by South African National Parks earlier in the year, summer visitors to the Kruger National Park should consult their local travel clinic about the necessary malaria precautions. All visitors to the park and surrounds should take Malaria prophylaxis and all usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. If you develop flu-like symptoms, even well after a visit to a malaria area, consult your doctor and have the relevant blood tests taken for malaria,” Dr Vincent advises. 

Steps to prevent mosquito bites: 
•    Apply a good quality insect repellent.
•    If you are wearing sun protection lotion, apply insect repellent after the sunscreen.
•    Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Mosquitoes are unlikely to bite on areas covered by clothing, particularly if the clothing is loose-fitting.
•    Protect yourself with a mosquito net while sleeping. Remember to check that there are no rips in the fabric and ensure that you do not let the fabric rest against your skin, as mosquitoes could bite you through the netting. 

Tick bite fever 
“If you have walked in any grasslands in the Eastern parts of South Africa be sure to check yourself for ticks immediately after your walk and remove any ticks carefully. The Incubation period for tick bite fever is eight days from when the bite occurred. Should you develop a sore with a black centre and swollen lymph nodes near the site, seek medical attention as soon as possible.” 

Food poisoning 
“There is a very helpful maxim that can significantly reduce one’s chances of developing the ‘traveller’s curse’ of food poisoning: ‘Boil it, Cook it, Peel it or Forget it’. Be careful of eating raw or undercooked foods, including vegetables, salads, meat and seafood. Eat only fruit that can be peeled or cut open such as bananas, oranges, pineapples and pawpaws.

“With the present outbreak of Listeriosis, which is contracted through eating food contaminated with the bacterium, it is particularly important to practise good food hygiene, particularly for individuals who are pregnant, asplenic or in any way immuno-compromised, as they are particularly vulnerable to infections.”

Stay hydrated
“Whatever holiday activities you may partake in, be sure to drink plenty of water. If you are not certain whether the tap water is safe to drink, it is advisable to rather drink bottled water and be sure to check the seal is intact when you open the bottle, or opt for sparkling water. Do not risk brushing your teeth with potentially contaminated water, rather use bottled water,” Dr Vincent notes. 

“With travellers’ health precautions such as these in place, it is possible to significantly improve the odds that your holiday will be memorable for all the right reasons. From all of us at Netcare Travel Clinics and Tokai Medicross, we wish the public a festive season that is safe, healthy and supremely enjoyable,” he concludes. 


For the contact details of your nearest Netcare Travel Clinic please visit

Issued by:    Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare Travel Clinics
Contact:    Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, or Meggan Saville
Telephone:    (011) 469 3016
Email:, or 

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Netcare Hospital Awarded Mother and Baby Friendly status

Health MEC visits facility in support of initiative to give babies best start in life

Monday, December 18 2017

The Western Cape Minister of Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, recently unveiled a plaque in recognition of Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital’s Mother and Baby Friendly Initiative (MBFI) accreditation, after a National Department of Health assessment in 2016 found that the hospital fulfils the relevant accreditation criteria.

The MBFI is a joint initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital is one of only three private hospitals in the province to achieve this status.

Photo: Western Cape Minister of Health Minister Dr Nomafrench Mbombo visited Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital recently to unveil a plaque in recognition of Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital’s Mother and Baby Friendly Initiative (MBFI) accreditation. Pictured (from left to right): Sylvia Ninham, Nursing Service Manager; Sr Anna Bothma of the hospital’s MBFI project team, Western Cape Minister of Health Minister Dr Nomafrench Mbombo and Nicolette Henney, Assistant Director of Nutrition at the Western Cape Health Department.  

“As a midwife myself, I am very fond of children and I am in full support of the Mother and Baby Friendly Initiative, as it speaks to the importance of the first 1 000 days of a child’s life,” Dr Mbombo said on the occasion.

She notes that a child’s health is most vulnerable during the first 1 000 days of life and expressed satisfaction that the private sector is moving towards embracing the MBFI, which assesses a healthcare facility’s implementation of infant feeding policy, emphasising the importance of breastfeeding and mother-child bonding, according to set criteria outlined in a global assessment tool.

The general manager of Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital, Dirk Truter, said the hospital was most gratified to join the league of Mother and Baby Friendly health facilities.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr Mbombo to our hospital as part of the global initiative to support breastfeeding mothers and develop further awareness around the numerous health benefits of breastfeeding babies for their first 1 000 days of life,” Truter says.

Dr Mbombo and the Assistant Director: Integrated Nutrition Programme for the Western Cape, Nicolette Henney, handed out certificates to staff members for completion of their training in assisting mothers in making informed choices about breastfeeding options and practices.

“The right nutrition during this 1 000-day window can have a profound impact on a child’s ability to develop and learn. It is for that reason that the Department promotes action and investment to improve nutrition for mothers and children during this period,” Dr Mbombo said.

“Under the theme ‘Survive, thrive and transform’, we are not only focusing on the well-being of the child but we are also focusing on mothers.”

Sr Jacqui Elschot, manager of Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital’s maternity unit, points out that the World Health Organization (WHO) advocates that babies are exclusively breastfed for the first six months after birth, as this is recognised as the best nutritional start for a young life.

“Many studies have indicated that feeding babies on breastmilk only, for at least the first six months of life, protects them against a host of non-communicable diseases,” Sr Elschot explains.

“There is evidence to suggest that conditions such as asthma, diabetes and obesity may be prevented through adequate breastfeeding, while the psychological benefits for both mothers and their babies cannot be overemphasised,” she adds.

“In a water scarce country, particularly in light of the drought in our province, breastfeeding also has advantages for water conservation. The manufacturing process for infant formula, particularly dairy-based formula, is often water intensive and every drop of water is precious.”

Truter thanked the hospital’s dedicated and caring multidisciplinary team for their on-going support in ensuring that Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital fulfils the criteria of the MBFI.

“Working together with the Department of Health, we are looking to further improve on the gains we have already made, as this initiative meaningfully contributes to life-long health and wellbeing for the babies born in our hospital,” Truter concludes.


Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital
Contact: Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville or Pieter Rossouw
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
Email:,, or

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Pretoria family forgoes overseas trip to fund disadvantaged boy’s medical treatment

Good Samaritans give nine-year-old Michael the gift of prosthetic legs and mobility

Friday, December 15 2017

Nine-year-old Michael Kgolane, who was born with deformed lower legs and has not been able to walk, will soon have artificial, or prosthetic, limbs thanks to the kindness of a Pretoria family.

The Good Samaritan family, who wish to remain anonymous, were travelling in the Groblersdal area recently when they saw a group of youngsters pushing Michael along the side of the road in a wheelbarrow. The family stopped their car and asked the children where they were taking Michael. The youngsters informed the family that they were taking Michael to play with his friends, as he himself could not walk there.

Photo: Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Mart-Mari Visser with Michael Kgolane after his recent surgery at Netcare Pretoria East Hospital. A local family decided to help the disabled boy and fund his medical care after seeing him being pushed along a road in a wheelbarrow. 

This completely chance encounter made such a strong impression on the family that they decided to forgo the overseas trip they had planned, and rather use the money to fund Michael’s medical care and the prosthetic limbs that will enable the youngster from Groblersdal to have greatly improved mobility and quality of life.

“This family’s unbelievable kindness enabled Michael, who has never been able to walk, to undergo a successful surgery at the end of November to amputate his deformed lower legs and surgically shape the stumps in preparation for being fitted with prosthetic limbs fitted next year,” says Dr Mart-Mari Visser, an orthopaedic surgeon who practises at Netcare Pretoria East Hospital and performed the surgery.

“This wonderful young boy who is always smiling and never complains, is recovering well in hospital from the surgery. Once Michael has fully healed, he will be ready to have his prosthetic limbs designed and fitted. These should greatly improve his quality of life,” adds Dr Visser.

Michael’s mother, Ditebogo Kglane, says that she will be forever grateful to the family who enabled her son to be helped and to get prosthetic legs.

“The kindness of this family that has helped us has been unbelievable,” reflects Kglane. “My family and I would like to thank these caring people, and everyone who has been involved in treating him, from the bottom of our hearts.

“Up until now, Michael has had to get around our home on his knees, and we have had to use a wheelbarrow to get him to school and to see his friends, because we have not been able to afford a wheelchair. Once his new prosthetic legs have been fitted he will be able to walk for the first time,” she observes.

According to Kglane, the Pretoria family first arranged for Michael to see De La Rey Pretorius, a medical orthotist and prothetist at Netcare Pretoria East Hospital. Pretorius then referred the boy to Dr Visser for the necessary surgery and medical care at the hospital, and will go on to design, develop and fit Michael’s prosthetic legs.

“This family’s kindness in arranging that Michael gets the help and support he needs has been absolutely incredible and shows that there are caring people in the community out there,” notes Mokgekolo Morare, nursing services manager at Netcare Pretoria East Hospital.

“The family have enabled Michael, who is such an energetic and bright young boy and whose bravery has won the hearts of the doctors and staff at Netcare Pretoria East Hospital, to look forward in hope to a life of greater independence. This family also accommodated Michael and his father in their home ahead of the boy’s hospital admission,” she adds.

“They have given Michael an immense gift of hope this festive season and are an inspiration to us all, ” concludes Morare.


Photo caption
Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Mart-Mari Visser with Michael Kgolane after his recent surgery at Netcare Pretoria East Hospital. A local family decided to help the disabled boy and fund his medical care after seeing him being pushed along a road in a wheelbarrow.

Issued by:    Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare St Augustine’s Hospital
Contact:    Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville, and Pieter Rossouw
Telephone:    (011) 469 3016
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Netcare uMhlanga Hospital trauma centre first private hospital in KZN to be Level 2 accredited

“We’re fully prepared for any holiday season medical emergencies”

Wednesday, December 13 2017

The emergency department at Netcare uMhlanga Hospital on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal has been accredited as a Level 2 trauma centre by the Trauma Society of South Africa (TSSA), becoming the first private facility in the province to be recognised in this way.

“This accreditation provides residents of, and visitors to, the region the assurance that they can access the highest levels of emergency medical care over the holiday season and beyond,” says Mande Toubkin, Netcare’s general manager: emergency, trauma, transplant and CSI.

Photo: The emergency department at Netcare uMhlanga Hospital was recently awarded Level 2 accreditation by the Trauma Society of South Africa (TSSA). Celebrating the achievement are (from left to right): Marc van Heerden, general manager Netcare uMhlanga Hospital; Belinda Lenherdt, hospital nursing services manager; Dr Shaun Gottshhalk, emergency medicine specialist; Heidi Chetty, emergency department unit manager; Gary Paul, Netcare 911 regional operations manager; and Dr Bianca Visser, principle clinical manager of the Netcare uMhlanga Hospital emergency department.

“The Level 2 accreditation certifies that Netcare uMhlanga Hospital’s emergency department has the necessary levels of expertise and equipment to treat all kinds and levels of emergency cases including high priority and potentially life-threatening P1 emergencies, polytrauma cases, as well as medical emergencies involving children,” emphasises Toubkin.

“The TSSA accreditation processes are most rigorous, requiring an emergency department to be well equipped and staffed by qualified emergency doctors and nursing personnel,” she adds.

According to Toubkin, the TSSA has over the last number of years been conducting a nationwide process of accrediting trauma centres within both the private and public healthcare sectors in South Africa in order to facilitate patients being directed to the most appropriate and effective levels of emergency care available.  

“The Netcare uMhlanga Hospital emergency department is only the third private facility in the province to be accredited by the TSSA. Recently Netcare Kingsway Hospital in Amanzimtoti on the South Coast and Netcare Alberlito Hospital in Ballito on the North Coast have achieved Level 3 accreditation.  

“With emergency departments at three Netcare coastal centres already accredited by the TSSA and a number of other Netcare facilities in the province preparing for accreditation, our emergency departments are well placed and ready for the holiday season. This is the busiest time of the year for our emergency units in the province, largely due to the influx of visitors to particularly its coastal regions, at this time of the year.”

The unit manager of Netcare uMhlanga Hospital’s emergency department, Heidi Chetty, who has some 20 years of experience in the field of emergency medicine including a two-year stint at a leading facility in Saudi Arabia, says that the management and staff of the hospital are very excited to have been awarded the TSSA accreditation.

“The doctors and staff in our emergency department have an immense passion for their work.  We have worked hard to ensure that our emergency department meets the strict TSSA requirements and are committed to providing the best possible care to their patients and the communities we serve,” adds Chetty.

Toubkin explains that the TSSA is working towards the achievement of a trauma system in South Africa in which all hospital emergency departments are accredited as either Level 1, 2 or 3 trauma centres.

“Among the rationales for this grading system is that it encourages the best use of available resources and expertise. In addition, it assists in guiding paramedics and other emergency workers as to which the most appropriate hospital would be to treat their patient’s particular injuries.

“Such a verification system of emergency facilities has been shown internationally to encourage best practice, patient advocacy, patient safety and improved outcomes,” she says.

There are only two accredited Level 1 facilities within the private sector in South Africa, namely at Netcare Milpark Hospital and at Netcare Union Hospital, both of which are situated in Gauteng.

Netcare uMhlanga Hospital general manager, Marc van Heerden, said that the management and staff at the hospital are “immensely honoured” that its emergency department had been accredited by TSSA as a Level 2 trauma centre.

“We will, as always, be working closely with emergency services providers such as Netcare 911 to assist holidaymakers and members of the community over the holiday period,” he adds.

“We wish all of our residents and visitors a safe and blessed festive season. Whilst we encourage them to have fun and a wonderful holiday, we also urge them to be health and safety conscious at all times,” concludes Van Heerden.


Issued by:    Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare uMhlanga Hospital
Contact:    Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville and Pieter Rossouw     
Telephone:    (011) 469 3016
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Netcare enters development partnership with Disabled People South Africa

Initiative aims to stimulate and support entrepreneurial growth within the disability sector

Wednesday, December 13 2017

Private healthcare group Netcare has entered into a ground breaking enterprise and supplier development partnership with Disabled People South Africa (DPSA), an organisation that aims to stimulate and support entrepreneurial growth within the disability sector.

The partnership was announced by Netcare’s group human resources director, Peter Warrener, who says that the group has given a R2.5 million grant to DPSA to assist the organisation in achieving these objectives.

Photo: Netcare has entered into a ground breaking partnership with Disabled People South Africa (DPSA to stimulate and support entrepreneurial growth within the disability sector. Pictured at the handing over of the R2.5 million grant were, from left to right: Netcare’s group human resources director, Peter Warrener; the head of Rhen’s Consulting, Rene Hendricks; DPSA’s national treasurer, Sememeru Masemola; and Netcare’s general manager for enterprise and supplier development, Dr Nceba Ndzwayiba.

“We at Netcare are tremendously excited to enter into this enterprise and supplier development partnership with DPSA, which builds on our commitment to disability mainstreaming and seeks to place persons with a disability at the centre of inclusive economic growth, poverty alleviation and job creation initiatives in South Africa,” adds Warrener.

“Supporting small business growth within the disability sector is a natural progression of Netcare’s transformation endeavours, which promote the creation of a society and economy that is inclusive of all South Africans, and has historically placed a particular emphasis on those with disabilities.”

According to Netcare’s general manager for enterprise and supplier development, Dr Nceba Ndzwayiba, the initiative with DPSA also forms part of Netcare’s broader supply chain diversification strategy which aims to increase Netcare’s procurement spend on 51% black owned emerging micro enterprises and qualifying small enterprises to at least R1 billion by 2020.

“DPSA, through Rhens’ Consulting, will champion the identification, training and development of high potential entrepreneurs within the disability sector and serve as a source of vendors for identified categories of products and services currently utilised by Netcare,” explains DPSA’s national treasurer, Sememeru Masemola.

Rhens’ Consulting is a 100% women owned exempt micro-enterprise headed by Rene Hendricks. Rhens’ specialises in learning solutions for, and the recruitment of persons with disabilities, where this offering was formalised through a joint venture with DPSA’s investment holdings subsidiary, which in turn has the DPSA mandate to explore commercial income streams in the interest of DPSA and its disabled member beneficiaries.  

 Masemola says that Rhens’ Consulting has received a grant as one of the outcomes of the Netcare partnership with DPSA, for the purpose of driving entrepreneurship development initiatives on behalf of DPSA and Netcare.

“Rhens’ Consulting has also been listed as a preferred recruitment agency for highly specialised nursing professionals for Netcare’s Western Cape region, as part of our supplier development programme. In addition, office space, equipment and access to various resources are provided to Rhens’ Consulting at no cost as part of our efforts to assist them to be operationally and financially sustainable,” explains Ndzwayiba.

Warrener says that Netcare has hitherto focused on driving learnerships and internships amongst other purposeful skills development initiatives that lead to permanent employment of persons with a disability.

“The group’s Sinako initiative and the focused attention on inclusive recruitment processes have yielded excellent results so far with regard to the representation of employees with a disability within Netcare, which rose by more than 1 000%, from 60 in 2008 to 626 in 2017. As at October 2017, over 3% of our workforce comprises valuable employees who have a disability”.

“We recognise the opportunity and responsibility that large corporations have to utilise their structures and resources to make a meaningful difference to small and medium businesses through enterprise and supplier development,” notes Ndzwayiba.

Ndzwayiba says that Netcare has consequently formed enterprise and supplier development partnerships with a number of majority black owned small enterprises which offer a range of products and services in emergency services, medical equipment, linen production and social services.

“Netcare is also currently evaluating opportunities and a number of proposals received from prospective enterprise and supplier development partners.”

One such enterprise and supplier development partner is Dube and Pottas Inc., with whom Netcare has had a relationship since 2012, when they opened a professional social worker services practice at Netcare Rehabilitation Hospital.

“Having been granted operating premises and a range of resources at no cost, Dube and Pottas have since expanded to Netcare Rosebank, Netcare Milpark and Netcare Sunninghill hospitals. Their monthly revenue has increased by more than five times since their inception and they now employ 12 social workers compared with the three they started out with five years ago,” adds Ndzwayiba.

“For us at Netcare, it is essential to contribute to the creation of an entrepreneurship culture in our country and in the healthcare sector in particular, which is critical to the sustainability of our country.”

“The small business sector contributes almost 24% of the country’s total wage bill; and accounted for 35% of GDP overall in 2008 according to the Department of Trade and Industry (dti). Presently, however, South Africa has a high failure rate of small enterprises, projected to be as high as 75%.

“There are a range of nuanced and location specific factors that impede the success of small businesses in South Africa, which include lack of access to funding and other forms of support, denial of opportunities, and general lack of mentorship. We hope to make a meaningful difference in the removal of such barriers within our sphere of influence,” concludes Warrener.


Issued by:    Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare
Contact:    Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville and Pieter Rossouw     
Telephone:    (011) 469 3016
Email:,, and




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