Burn treatment centre commemorates 25 years

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Pretoria - The Burn Treatment Centre at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital today commemorates its 25th anniversary, which is observed provincially, nationally and continentally.

On Thursday, Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu and Johnson & Johnson’s Director of Corporate Citizenship for Africa, Ian Walker, visited the hospital to commemorate the anniversary of its burn treatment centre.

The hospital is located in Soweto, Johannesburg, and its burn treatment centre admits 300 adult patients and 600 paediatric patients annually.

Since its establishment in 1991, the centre has made over 18 000 admissions, while performing around 14 500 surgical procedures.

It was established in a public-private partnership with Johnson & Johnson, the world’s largest and most diversified healthcare company, as a treatment and teaching centre for medical professionals from across all parts of Africa.

Johnson & Johnson provides support to the facility in the form of equipment, consumable products and educational support for management and medical personnel.

The Gauteng Department of Health on Thursday said the successful public-private partnership has given the Gauteng community and surrounding provinces access to world class multi-disciplinary burn wound care management.

Timely and specialised care to adult and paediatric burn patients increases the survival rates among critically injured patients, which has been offered by the centre in past 25 years. 

Since its opening, the centre has successfully assisted in training medical personnel from nine African countries – Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Tanzania, Botswana, Libya, Rwanda, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia.

MEC Mahlangu said the partnership has endured for years and demonstrates what can be achieved when the private and the public sectors work together.

“We commend Johnson & Johnson for this centre and continued support over the years. The centre, through its educational and training component, has also benefitted the continent.

“Medical personnel have been trained at the facility, coming as far afield as Libya and Ethiopia, to mention but two. We look forward to the next 25 years of quality healthcare service,” said the MEC.

Walker said he was proud of the partnership and what the Bara Burns teams has achieved over 25 years of service.

“The Bara Burns Unit is a centre of excellence for burn treatment and surgical skills on the continent and we wish them continued success,” said Walker.

Minister Motsoaledi thanked Johnson & Johnson for its support and said the Burns Unit could rival the best in the world.

Siyathemba Kunene, 28, of Soweto gave a testimony during the commemoration as a patient, who was admitted at the centre in July with second degree burn wounds.

Kunene commended staff members for their expertise and said without their care, he doubts he would have been able to have full function on his left arm.

“Bara Burns Unit staff was exceptional during the three months (July-October) I spent at the ward. From doctors to nurses and cleaning personnel, everyone had the patient’s best interest at heart. I still go for wound dressings as an outpatient at the unit. 

“Words alone cannot describe how grateful I am for the treatment I got from the hospital. The treatment was holistic … There occupational therapists, physiotherapists and social workers who helped us come to terms with our situation and they gave us hope. I can use my left arm now, all thanks to the staff,” said Kunene. - SAnews.gov.za

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