Palatable operations

Repairing cleft lips and palates of children from disadvantaged communities is one of the specialised services offered by Johannesburg’s Netcare Park Lane Hospital, which has earned international recognition for the facilities it offers to mothers and infants.

Netcare Park Lane Hospital is in Parktown, Johannesburg, and is known as a specialist facility with a holistic approach to womens’s health. A finalist in this year’s Absa Healthcare Initiative Awards, it received an award from the World Health Organisation and the UN Children’s Fund as Gauteng’s first private mother and baby-friendly hospital.

The incidence of children born with some variation of cleft lip and palate is high and varies from between one in 600 to one in 1 200 births. The abnormalities can vary from a cleft lip on the upper or lower lip, a bilateral cleft or a complete cleft of the palate. These can all occur individually or together.

About 170 procedures have been performed in a specialised centre at the Netcare Park Lane Hospital since April 2004 on babies as young as three months old. The programme enables children who have lived at a distance from society to attend school and interact with other children, so gaining self-confidence.

A hospital spokesperson says that one of the aims is to source patients in underprivileged communities, so reducing the waiting period at government hospitals for this procedure.

From 1998 to 2001, attempts were made to obtain private funding to help children with clefts to be operated on in private sector hospitals. Dr Jack Shevel, CEO of Netcare, agreed that Netcare would pay 50% of the costs, with the other 50% being paid by sponsors, in this case Vodacom.

Said Shevel: ‘Most of the parents are thrilled because they do not have to wait two years or more for the procedures to be carried out. And they do not have to pay a cent for a procedure that could otherwise have cost them thousands of rands.”

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.


David Jackson
Guest Author
Advertising

Zuma turns on judiciary as trial nears

Former president says pre-trial correspondence is part of another plot

High court declares Dudu Myeni delinquent

Disgraced former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni has been declared a delinquent director by the...

SANDF inquiry clears soldiers of the death of Collins Khosa

The board of inquiry also found that it was Khosa and his brother-in-law Thabiso Muvhango who caused the altercation with the defence force members

Lockdown relief scheme payouts to employees tops R14-billion

Now employers and employees can apply to the Unemployment Insurance Fund for relief scheme payments
Advertising

Press Releases

Obituary: Mohammed Tikly

His legacy will live on in the vision he shared for a brighter more socially just future, in which racism and discrimination are things of the past

Openview, now powered by two million homes

The future of free-to-air satellite TV is celebrating having two million viewers by giving away two homes worth R2-million

Road to recovery for the tourism sector: The South African perspective

The best-case scenario is that South Africa's tourism sector’s recovery will only begin in earnest towards the end of this year

What Africa can learn from Cuba in combating the Covid-19 pandemic

Africa should abandon the neoliberal path to be able to deal with Covid-19 and other health system challenges likely to emerge in future

Coexisting with Covid-19: Saving lives and the economy in India

A staggered exit from the lockdown accompanied by stepped-up testing to cover every district is necessary for India right now

Covid-19: Eased lockdown and rule of law Webinar

If you are arrested and fined in lockdown, you do get a criminal record if you pay the admission of guilt fine

Covid-19 and Frontline Workers

Who is caring for the healthcare workers? 'Working together is how we are going to get through this. It’s not just a marathon, it’s a relay'.

PPS webinar Part 2: Small business, big risk

The risks that businesses face and how they can be dealt with are something all business owners should be well acquainted with

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday