Nurse Lemmie Mosala (centre) performs cardiopulmonary resuscitation at the new safety simulation ward in Groote Schuur Hospital, the first ward of its kind in Africa. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
Nurse Lemmie Mosala (centre) performs cardiopulmonary resuscitation at the new safety simulation ward in Groote Schuur Hospital, the first ward of its kind in Africa. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

WATCH: A first in Africa for Groote Schuur Hospital

By Yolisa Tswanya Time of article published Mar 27, 2018

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Cape Town - For one doctor, being diagnosed with multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) was an eye-opener regarding the importance of threats around the clinical health environment.

A collaboration between UCT’s Clinical Skills Centre, medical technology company BD (Becton Dickinson) and Groote Schuur Hospital saw the refurbishment of the Safety in Health Simulation Centre.

The centre is a simulation ward equipped with resources necessary for cross-sectoral collaboration and inter-professional learning, leading to better teamwork between staff from across the continuum of health service.

The launch was especially important for Dr Zolelwa Sifumba, a survivor of occupationally acquired MDR-TB.

Dr Zolelwa Sifumba contracted multi-drug resistant TB while working with patients. Video: Yolisa Tswanya/Cape Argus

Sifumba said she contracted TB while working at the hospital and that was the first time she thought of her safety and that of her colleagues.

“I developed a lump on my neck, but didn’t have the typical symptoms. It was very strange, and when I had it investigated I was diagnosed with MDR-TB. It was the first time I realised that I was at risk.”

She said because she didn’t fit into the TB demographic (she was a middle-class student, not HIV positive and ate well) she never thought she was at risk of contracting the disease.

“It is great to see a collaboration that will speak to students and tell them that their safety is important.”

The director of the UCT Clinical Skills Centre, Dr Rachel Weiss, said: “We are excited to include Groote Schuur Hospital managers, nurses, doctors, rehabilitation, cleaning and other support staff in the development, implementation and evaluation of a safety curriculum.”

She said patients could also be exposed to infections through inadequate hygiene during procedures or injuries resulting from equipment malfunction or improper use.

“Awareness of, and commitment to, safe practice is an attitude that needs to be developed early on in a student’s training and sustained throughout clinical service.”

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Cape Argus

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