Netcare turns to technology to fight germs

By ANA Reporter Time of article published Mar 24, 2020

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CAPE TOWN - South African health care company, Netcare has announced on Tuesday it has deployed highly effective germ-destroying robots at its health care facilities, as one of the measures to prevent the spread of infections.

“Netcare has for long placed an emphasis on infection prevention within its health care facilities as a result of the ongoing prevalence of highly infectious viruses such as the coronaviruses, and so-called ‘superbugs,” Netcare chief executive Richard Friedland said.

“As a result, we started to acquire super-effective germ-destroying robots late in 2017, to bolster our existing comprehensive disinfection measures.” 

Friedland said the spread of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in South Africa, has seen a surge of public interest on preventive measures of health care providers in containing infections, more specifically Covid-19, at their facilities, and in the latest technologies for prevention and control in hospitals.

The Yanex Pulsed-Xenon UV robots deployed in Netcare hospitals use high doses of UV light to destroy viruses, bacteria and fungal spores, and they disinfect hospital wards, operating theatres and other spaces within minutes.

Friedland said the robots have shown impressive infection prevention and control results internationally and during trials at Netcare hospitals in 2017, a first in the country. Netcare currently has 28 robots operating at 22 sites, and will take delivery of a further 13 within the next couple of weeks.

The Yanex Pulsed-Xenon UV robots deployed in Netcare hospitals use high doses of UV light to destroy viruses, bacteria and fungal spores, and they disinfect hospital wards, theatres and other spaces within minutes. Picture: Supplied

Senior clinical advisor at Netcare, Caroline Maslo, said healthcare facilities globally face a daily challenge to prevent the spread of infections within the context of increasing concerns about antibiotic resistance.

“Having used the robots in different settings in Netcare facilities, we found that the technology lived up to the impressive results achieved in independent international studies that endorse this method of disinfection.

“The Yanex robot, which was designed in Russia, has repeatedly proven itself to be effective and efficient, and this form of disinfection is particularly useful against antibiotic resistant bacteria, and viruses such as Covid-19, which it easily destroys," Maslo said.

Each robot deployed in Netcare facilities is connected to the Cloud and the robots generate full reports on all of their activities, which are stored on the Cloud. Relevant hospital and Netcare stakeholders are able to monitor the activities of each robot in real-time and access full reports at any time.

“Many of those admitted to hospital are particularly vulnerable to infection," Maslo said.

"The aim of our infection prevention and control programmes and the use of technology such as this is to help protect those in our care, as well as visitors, staff members and medical practitioners from any potentially harmful germs including Covid-19," he said.

South Africa's health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Tuesday that the number of infections had increased by 152 to 554 confirmed cases.

On Monday, just hours before President Cyril Ramaphose announced a 21-day lockdown, the country recorded its first massive increase in the number of Covid-19 cases from 274 on Sunday to 402 on Monday. 

Mkhize said health officials were working around the clock to track cases of the virus and to trace contacts.

African News Agency

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