Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has paid tribute to Professor Mashudu Tshifularo and his team at the University of Pretoria (UP) for a pioneering surgical procedure which uses 3D-printed middle ear bones for conductive hearing loss rehabilitation.
Tshifularo on Wednesday led the team in successfully performing a nearly two-hour transplant surgery on their first patient, Thabo Moshiliwa, aged 40, who damaged his middle ear bone in a car accident.
The minister urged donors and development partners, especially the business community, to support the innovation which he described as "South Africa's scientific break through".
"As the department of health, we shall do everything in our power to assist and mobilize resources to make sure that Prof. Tshifularo gets all the help he needs," Motsoaledi said.
The groundbreaking surgery was done at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria.