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Helping patients on low incomes and in rural areas

In South Africa, patients can access life-changing knee and hip implant procedures. However, these are usually carried out in big cities, and can involve large expenses. For the past nine years, we have been supporting the Arthroplasty Academy, improving access for patients on low incomes and in rural areas, and providing essential training to surgeons.

Andy Zoepke, Professional Education Manager, South Africa, explains: “Every year, the programme moves to a new, usually rural location, to help patients who don’t have the ability or money to travel to bigger cities where these procedures normally take place.

We donate everything required for the procedures – from the implants to the surgical gowns. It’s our biggest corporate social investment in South Africa, worth 1.7 million rand.”

We also send in a Smith & Nephew professional education team who help the surgeons, hospital management and other hospital staff with the smooth running of the procedures. In 2018, 18 patients benefited from 20 knee and hip implant procedures. Our support also helped newly qualified orthopaedic surgeons to develop their arthroplasty skills.

“All patients are very happy with the results,” says Dr Emmanuel Metasa, an orthopaedic consultant at the Rob Ferreira Provincial Hospital, which benefited from the project. “The Arthroplasty Academy group was extremely knowledgeable and competent.”

Sustainability report 2020