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Steve Biko Hospital receives World Stroke Organization’s Angels Diamond Award for excellence in stroke care

Steve Biko Stroke Team given World Stroke Organization Angels Award. Picture: Supplied

Steve Biko Stroke Team given World Stroke Organization Angels Award. Picture: Supplied

Published Jul 14, 2022

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The Angels Initiative is a cutting-edge healthcare programme that assists hospitals all over the world in becoming “stroke-ready” so that patients who have suffered a stroke can receive the most efficient and quick care possible.

By collaborating with hospitals to create a cutting-edge global network of hospitals that are prepared for stroke, the Initiative aims to significantly lessen the impact of stroke while also reducing treatment delays and offering patients the best acute stroke care.

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The Angels Awards were developed to honour medical facilities that offer exceptional stroke care and to motivate medical facilities to employ quality monitoring to enhance performance.

The criteria for awards are based on global standards for acute stroke care. Awards for hospitals might be in the form of gold, platinum, or diamonds, with diamond denoting the highest level of achievement.

The hospital’s door-to-needle time, which measures the interval between a stroke patient’s arrival at emergency and the start of treatment, is now 15 minutes.

Every year, about 15 million people worldwide suffer a stroke. As a result, one-third of them pass away and another third have lifelong disabilities.

“The hospital is committed to improving the outcomes of stroke by ensuring that every patient admitted into our facility gets access to stroke care that will optimise their survival and recovery,” said Dr Mathabo Mathebula, CEO of the Steve Biko Academic Hospital.

“It is a great honour to be awarded Diamond Status for stroke management by the World Stroke Organization. This achievement has been a milestone in our journey and is a reflection of the relentless work our doctors have been doing to provide the best care to our patients at an international standard.”

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The head of neurology at Steve Biko Academic Hospital, Professor Mandisa Kakaza, agrees that it is fundamental for the hospital to have the proper diagnostic tools and qualified personnel to provide prompt care and treatment. “To ensure better care and support and lessen the burden of stroke on our communities, our team has adopted training and aligned with worldwide standards. Our staff strives to deliver ongoing improvements.”

According to Jan van der Merwe, co-founder and project manager of The Angels Initiative, South Africa had a small number of hospitals that could be deemed “stroke-ready” when the Angels Initiative started, but now there are over 170.

“The improvement in stroke care in South Africa is a story that has inspired other countries across the world to improve their own stroke care in ways they never thought possible,” Van der Merwe said.

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