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United Bulawayo Hospitals makes history with hip surgeries

by Staff reporter
23 Apr 2023 at 07:53hrs | Views
UNITED Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) made history last week when it  became one of the few health institutions in the country to offer hip surgeries with more than 20 patients registering for the procedure.

The hip arthroplasty camp kicked off on Thursday and ends today.

Over the years, Zimbabweans have been travelling to India, South Africa, Malawi and Zambia, among other foreign destinations, for complex medical procedures like organ transplants, corrective orthopaedic hip replacements and knee replacements procedures.

This has been as a result of limited expertise in doing these procedures locally as well as exorbitant costs.

Hip replacements cost anything in the upwards of US$30 000, forcing many to abort surgeries and live with a hip disability.

In Zimbabwe, a few private hospitals in Harare do hip surgery.

Bhekinkosi Swele, an orthopedic surgeon who did one of the surgeries, said the purpose of the UBH camp was to help people that require hip replacement surgery.

"This is a skills transfer camp and we hope to keep the programme going even after the camp is done and the advantage is that these services are being offered in a public hospital, hence it will become more affordable," Swele said.

Another orthopedic surgeon, Jabulile Mthethwa, said people should not accept hip disability.

"Africans tend to be stoic, sit on things and accept disability," Mthethwa said.

"In this day and age there is no need to accept disability, there are options provided locally which are now affordable.

"There is now a difference since we are a public hospital and patients will now get affordable, but not compromised care within their own hospital setting."

UBH chief medical officer William Busumani said patients with hip problems were being forced to travel to Harare or cross the borders for hip replacement.

"It was expensive, but we are offering this at a government institution which is a big plus for us," Busumani said.

Source - Southern Eye