Johannesburg - The North West MEC for Health Madoda Sambatha congratulated Tshepong Hospital in Jouberton, Klerksdorp, for successfully conducting two surgical cleft lip and palate procedures for two young girls.
The operation resulted in the restoration of smiles on the faces of two girls born with cleft lip and palate.
Cleft lip and palate are openings or splits in the upper lip, the roof of the mouth (palate) or both. They result when facial structures that are developing in an unborn baby do not close completely.
They most commonly occur as isolated birth defects but are also associated with many inherited genetic conditions or syndromes.
The North West Department of Health said the children were residents of the province who had been awaiting surgery at referral centres based in Gauteng. However, delays happened due to the outbreak of Covid-19. This resulted in cancellation of the elective surgical procedures.
The MEC said a plastic and reconstructive surgeon was recently appointed at Tshepong Hospital to conduct cleft lip and palate reconstructive procedures and alleviate dependency on referrals to health centres in neighbouring provinces, as Sambatha highlighted the departmental intervention in addressing similar cases in North West.
“Through a departmental intervention and appointment of a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Dr Shashikant Agarwal, the surgical procedures which were the first of their kind at the facility were conducted successfully,” Sambatha said.
The MEC further thanked the supporting surgical team at the hospital, which comprised Dr Olga Rademan, Dr Erin Du Plooy, Dr Nicole Broich, the anaesthesia team managed by Dr Burcan and the nursing team led by Sister Mosia and Sister Makhuta, who ensured excellent preoperative and intraoperative care for both patients.
“The success of these first two cases has led to a few more referrals to the hospital’s unit of plastic surgery and in due course, we will be able to offer timely surgery to all children with cleft lip and palate within the North West Province at Tshepong Hospital,” MEC Sambatha said.