Dr Nelson Matsobane Latakgomo from Limpopo has accepted a fellowship from the American College of Surgeons. The doctor currently practices at Netcare Pholoso Hospital. Photo: Supplied
Dr Nelson Matsobane Latakgomo from Limpopo has accepted a fellowship from the American College of Surgeons. The doctor currently practices at Netcare Pholoso Hospital. Photo: Supplied

SA doctor Nelson Latakgomo awarded top international fellowship

By Robin-Lee Francke Time of article published Dec 1, 2021

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CAPE TOWN – A South African doctor is one of 42 to receive an internationally recognised commendation, admitting him into the prestigious American College of Surgeons (ACS).

Dr Nelson Matsobane Latakgomo from Limpopo, a general surgeon with a special interest in minimally invasive surgery and colorectal surgery, practises at the Netcare Pholoso Hospital.

In October, Latakgomo virtually accepted a fellowship to the American College of Surgeons.

“I was born and bred in Limpopo and am passionate about serving the people of Polokwane and surrounding areas.

“As a local, I am keenly aware of the need for medical care of the highest standards in our province.

“ACS is an active community of like minded healthcare professionals who, amongst other aims, strongly promotes improved health in rural areas globally – a cause that is very close to my heart,” Latakgomo said.

He said ACS provides a valuable platform for international knowledge sharing and promotes excellent practice in surgery.

Latakgomo believes the fellowship will assist in shining a brighter light on some of the exceptional care that is being provided in Limpopo.

“As head of the trauma programme here at Netcare Pholoso Hospital, I am enthusiastic about the additional benefits that this fellowship will bring to our area. Last year, the hospital was accredited as a Level II trauma centre, certifying that the necessary professional medical services are available at the facility to deal with trauma cases and medical emergencies, in line with international best practice in trauma medicine,” he said.

He said he is hopeful that they will soon be able to take the next step in trauma accreditation to provide the highest level of training to doctors in dealing with trauma cases and upskilling healthcare workers who serve the community.

“On a more personal note, I am also all too aware of what it is like to grow up in a more rural area, and that it is important to have self-belief when pursuing your passion.

“I am deeply honoured to have been awarded this international fellowship.

“I hope that many young people, particularly in our rural communities, will be encouraged to see that South African doctors, and professionals at large, with similarly humble beginnings have every reason to keep reaching for their goals,” Latakgomo added.

North East regional director of Netcare, Johan Smal said Latakgomo’s achievement was no surprise and very well deserved.

Smal described him as a doctor driven by his passion and who has the highest possible standards for healthcare.

“It is therefore fitting that he should receive this international acknowledgement of his dedication to the field of surgery. We are privileged to have him practising here at our facility, helping us to provide such excellent care to the communities we serve,” Smal said.

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