Dora Nginza super-specialist passing on his expertise

Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane, left, with Dora Nginza maternity unit chief Prof Mdundiso Mabenge
SUPER-SPECIALIST: Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane, left, with Dora Nginza maternity unit chief Prof Mdundiso Mabenge
Image: NOMAZIMA NKOSI

Eastern Cape super-specialist Prof Mfundiso Mabenge is sharing his expertise and training three other doctors to become gynaecological oncology super-specialists.

Mabenge is Dora Nginza Hospital’s maternity unit chief.

It was announced earlier this week during an oversight visit by Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane, health MEC Sindiswa Gomba and Nelson Mandela Bay acting mayor Thsonono Buyeye, that on June 25 Dora Nginza had received accreditation to train super-specialists in gynae-oncology.

“I was the first super-specialist in the province to be afforded the opportunity to train in Pretoria. In Nelson Mandela Bay and Sarah Baartman, I’m still the only one,” Mabenge said.

“I’m training three more [doctors] to become super-specialists. This is important because our patients used to go to Cape Town and the department of health would have to pay to transport the patients and they would be far away from their families, but currently they are operated on here in Dora Nginza.

“We have three super-specialists in the province now. We’ve got one in East London and another one in Mthatha. But we’re the only centre accredited to train more super-specialists,” he said.

Mabenge, who took Mabuyane, Gomba and Buyeye on a tour of the maternity ward, told the delegation that Dora Nginza had produced 10 specialists in the field and that on Tuesday there were three more who were taking their exam to become specialists.

The metro’s hospitals have come under increasing scrutiny in the last two months, with several making headlines both nationally and internationally.

Dora Nginza’s maternity unit also made headlines, with some expectant mothers having to wait up to 14 days to have caesarean births.

Casualty department head Dr Olufemi Oluwole told MPL Tony Duba in June that due to the closure of surrounding clinics patients had flocked to the hospital, overwhelming the system.

Earlier this week, Mabenge told Mabuyane the situation had improved drastically due to clinics reopening.

Mabenge said despite a lot of negative things being reported about the hospital, those on the inside were doing the best they could to improve patient care.

He said Dora Nginza delivered roughly 600 babies a month and almost 11,000 a year.

“Half of them are caesareans. We’re a referral centre and most of the patients come in here because there is  no other option.

“Our mortality rate is quite low but our aim is not to have anyone [die].

“In oncology, we see about 600 patients a year and we operate on most of them and send them for chemo-radiation therapy,” he said.

Asked if the maternity unit had had Covid-19 positive mothers, Mabenge said it had.

“At some point Covid-19 was a concern and at one time we had 25 patients who were positive in the ward and about 19 patients who were PUI (person under investigation).

“I’m grateful to say the number has come down and now we have five patients who are Covid-19-positive and two PUIs. The numbers are coming down.

“We haven’t had maternal deaths from Covid-19-positive mothers,” Mabenge said.

He said Dora Nginza was also conducting a study which looked at the placenta of these Covid-19 positive mothers who had delivered babies to see if there were any problems.

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