The University of Johannesburg (UJ) and Royal Philips Electronics, together with the Gauteng Department of Health today, 14 May 2013, announced the start of a cooperative pilot project focusing on the specialist treatment, retrieval and transfer of high-risk mother and child cases in Gauteng.
This initiative came to fruition with the signing of an MOU between UJ and Philips, aimed at reducing the rate of maternal and infant mortality through equipping a specialised ambulance focusing on the care for and monitoring of mothers, infants and children to and between Gauteng’s healthcare facilities.
This vehicle will be crewed by a multidisciplinary team consisting of final year emergency medical care students, emergency care practitioners as well as paediatric and emergency medicine registrars. The specialist retrieval teams will focus on assisting with the stabilisation and or transferral of high acuity patients from their original point of care to receiving medical facilities. Operated by UJ’s Emergency Medical Care Department and responding from the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital, the crew will be on hand to render patient care within the tertiary facility and responding to requests for assistance and transport of patients from provincial healthcare facilities.
This project addresses key challenges in maternal and infant care in South Africa today. Currently, many primary and community-based health facilities lack the required equipment, knowledge or expertise to effectively manage maternal emergencies, complicated childbirth or critically ill infants and children. Also, the transfer from the primary health facility to the hospital needs improvement; due to limited care facilities during transfer, too often high-risk patients arrive in an unstable and deteriorating condition.
“First-world healthcare is within our reach provided we can get appropriately trained staff with the right equipment to the right patient at the right time. This partnership aims to do just this,” says Dr Craig Lambert, Head of the Department of Emergency Medical Care, UJ.
“We are proud to be partners in this exciting project. As leaders in healthcare innovation, Philips hopes to provide the medical leaders of the future with the necessary equipment and product training required to help reduce the rate of mother and child mortality,” says Mr Jose Fernandes, District Manager, Philips Healthcare Southern Africa.