Mandela Day Surgeries project is back, providing life-improving surgeries

Mandela Day Surgeries project is back, providing additional life-improving surgeries to more than 350 patients 

The Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness and its important partners: Mediclinic, Life Healthcare, the Joint Care Trust and the Radiance Foundation has revived the Mandela Day Surgeries Project, bringing about life-changing surgeries to more than 350 people.

The project embodies the spirit of Nelson Mandela’s vision for a better world and serves as a powerful reminder that each of us has the ability and responsibility to make a positive impact in our communities.

Pre-Pandemic, the department had an established partnership in place which brought about many additional surgeries to those in need, improving their quality of life and giving them back their independence.

  • The department’s first Mandela Day Surgeries’ project was launched in 2017 which saw 67 people receiving life-changing surgeries.
  • In 2018, commemorating Mandela’s 100th birthday, the target of 100 operations was exceeded and ultimately led to 195 people benefitting.
  • In 2019, commemorating our 25th year of democracy and the last year before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Project’s aim was to do 10 free life-changing procedures for every one year of our democracy. The target was to improve the lives of another 250 patients requiring cataract removals, orthopaedic surgery, Ear Nose & Throat (ENT) procedures, and hip and knee replacements. More than 400 patients received various health procedures!

The pandemic impacted tremendously on services, with elective surgeries put on hold, resulting in many people not being able to receive surgeries which would improve their quality of life, and give them back their independence.

With the reality of reduced available budgets, we cannot do this alone and value the support of our partners in the private sector. They have once again stepped up to join us in bringing change to people’s lives by supporting our 2023 Mandela Day Surgeries.

The full impact of these partnerships is truly felt and seen on the patients whose lives have been improved by being able to again see and walk! We acknowledge that it will take time to get back to our previous achievements, but this is another step in that direction.

As part of the 2023 Mandela Day Surgeries initiative until the end of August, we will provide additionally:

  • 150 persons with pregnancy prevention surgeries across eight hospitals,
  • 170 cataract surgeries,
  • 6 people will receive hip and knee replacements,
  • 19 General Surgical procedures (eg: orchidopexies, herniotomies)
  • 9 ENT procedures (eg: adenoidectomies, tonsillectomies, grommets)
  • 7 Plastic Surgery/Burns procedures

Dr Keith Cloete, Head of Department, says: “Having to do more with less our Department’s Mandela Day Surgeries project demonstrates our commitment to find innovative ways to restore dignity and quality of life. These life transforming surgeries have given our patients dignity and a new lease of life, and we look forward to expanding on them in the coming years.”


 

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