Pretoria - The Steve Biko Academic Hospital and University of Pretoria’s Bariatric Surgery Department continues to grow in stature, adding another accolade to its belt by receiving its second international award.
The hospital received the international award recently from Proventi, a highly respected organisation that accredits bariatric units around the world, for a medical procedure that involves the alteration of the digestive system to help with weight loss.
Proventi awarded the hospital after a visit to the hospital, in its bid to ensure people and hospitals they accredited maintained high standards required in bariatric surgery.
The award comes against the backdrop of World Obesity Day this last Saturday, and alarming rates of obesity. According to research by Wits University, about 23% of adults were overweight, and up to 27% were obese.
Efforts towards combating obesity have been prioritised by health authorities as it can lead to major health issues, including Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and stroke.
As it stands, diabetes has become one of the leading causes of death in South Africa, with the International Diabetes Federation tagging the country as having the highest prevalence of diabetes in Africa: 11.3%.
With this in mind, the bariatric surgery team at the hospital, run under a multidisciplinary team of general surgeons, dieticians, clinical psychologists, anaesthesiologists, food and nutrition services and nursing services, took the decision to act, supporting the country to deal with the scourge.
“I would like to congratulate the team at Steve Biko Academic Hospital for their efforts,” said Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, Gauteng MEC for Health and Wellness. “This shows the public health-care system remains resilient, and there are centres of excellence that continue to lift the bar higher.
“This recognition proves that our hospitals provide internationally-accredited health-care services.
“I have no doubt that our specialised clinicians will continue to adhere to the high standards of Proventi in order to ensure good patient outcomes and continued accreditation.”
This is not the first time the hospital’s bariatric surgery has received accolades from an independent organisation: in 2019 they were awarded for ensuring significant growth of metabolic surgery, by the South African Society of Endoscopic Surgeons.