In October 2012, surgeons in the Arthroplasty Academy led a community outreach programme at Tembisa Hospital. Orthopaedic reconstruction surgery, using implant technology donated by Smith & Nephew, was performed on eleven state patients who were in desperate need of hip or knee replacements. Many of them had struggled with pain for years as their names crept slowly up the waiting list.
Following the successful surgery Dr Sam Malebo, Head of Orthopaedics at Tembisa wrote this letter to the Orthopaedic Reconstruction team at Smith & Nephew:
It is with a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation that I write on behalf of our patients, my department and all hospital staff, to thank you, your company and all surgical teams involved, in carrying out this highly successful outreach project at Tembisa.
"It will be a life changing experience for our patients - many of whom have waited up to 5 years for joint replacement."
Our staff members were particularly touched by the skill, dedication and commitment displayed by your team.
Thank you very much for a job well done.
Kind regards to all.
Dr Frank Peters, one of the Arthroplasty Academy candidates who assisted with the surgery at Tembisa said:
I started as a Medical Officer at Tembisa Hospital in 2002 so for me it’s a good feeling to go back ten years later, meet some of my first teachers and put something back into the community. A district hospital like Tembisa has limited funds for elective surgery and the kinds of implants we use will make a real difference to the patients we operate on. Because I live and work close by, it is going to be satisfying to see the patients during their post-operative check- ups and see the difference for myself!
"As global leaders we believe we should also lead in education - make a meaningful difference to health care in Africa by building expertise."
Dave Roberts: Director Orthopaedic Reconstruction, International Markets, Africa Region, Smith & Nephew