Aloe Igazi Haematology Unit
The Aloe Igazi Haematology and Stem Cell Unit at Port Elizabeth Provincial Hospital was a dream that finally became fully functional in late 2013, after 3 years of intense lobbying by the Foundation. There had, until this time, never been a facility that treated blood diseases in the Eastern Cape, forcing sufferers to travel to other cities for treatment, often with poor outcomes. Igazi was able to galvanise the Eastern Cape Department of Health, private sector business, as well as the the people of Nelson Mandela Bay in order to build this much needed unit. We are proud to have been instrumental in making such a facility available for the people of the Eastern Cape who had long been deprived of this critically needed facility. Igazi continues to support the maintenance and other requirements in order to offer the best treatment possible for patients.
The Aloe Paediatric Unit
The Foundation was asked to assist in the creation of a Paediatric Oncology Unit at Port Elizabeth Provincial Hospital, for the children and parents of the Eastern Cape. Previously the facility had been located at Dora Nginza Hospital, with little room for expansion. Igazi was delighted to use the experience and contacts gained with our previous unit in order to assist. This Unit was opened in March 2015, meaning that fewer children with cancer had to be sent to Red Cross Hospital in Cape Town for treatment. The unit is well established and is independently carrying on it’s important work
Nurses Haematology Training
Igazi has, over the years, in conjunction with our many sponsors and supporters, sent Nurses and Sisters, in our Stem Cell unit, for specialist Haematology and Stem Cell transplantation training. The centres in other larger cities in South Africa, most notably Alberts Cellular Therapy in Pretoria, have welcomed this opportunity to train others. The initiative has enabled these Nurses and Sisters to share their knowledge with their colleagues on their return. This has helped disseminate important blood disease treatment information among staff in resource restricted areas in South Africa.
ICCF Nurses Lounge
Expanding the training of nurses in Haematology in the Eastern Cape required a dedicated Nurses’ Training Centre. An area on the 8th ﬂoor of Port Elizabeth Provincial Hospital was selected as the site for renovation. In 2013 a nurses education centre was opened, in conjunction with the ICCF and Cipla. Our Nurses have beneﬁted from this facility, being able to now have feedback sessions and educationals that advance haematological care within a working Haematology unit.
King Edward Chemotherapy Room
Igazi was asked in 2017 to help with the renovation of this facility in Durban. The cancer patients receiving chemotherapy there were being given treatment in a non sterile environment while sitting on plastic chairs. As a patient based organisation we believed that this was unacceptable situation. Our intervention begun in 2018 after discussions with architects and builders to ensure the best possible environment for patients undergoing treatment. The renovated facility will be completed in the third quarter of 2019.
The HDTO (Haematological Treatment and Diagnosis Options) is a series of Continuing Medical Education symposiums provided free for General Practitioners and Medical Officers, covering a wide range of topics. These day symposiums focus on bringing medical professionals up to date with the latest advances in this fast evolving field. With so few haematologists in South Africa these symposiums are critical as GP’s and MOs form the first line of defence in identifying blood diseases and referring them accordingly. Symposiums have already been held in Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, East London, Mthatha, Pretoria, Queenstown, Durban, George, Bloemfontein, Nelspruit, Paarl and Kimberley. In 2019 they will be held in Rustenberg and again in Port Elizabeth. As medical education in these topics are rare, the symposiums are well attended, with feedback benefitting both the expansion of haematological education and better patient health in South Africa. To date twelve hundred General Practitioners and Medical Officers have been trained nationwide, many in rural areas. In areas where HDTO have been held, there has been quicker diagnosis and referral reported. The HDTO symposiums will continue to be expanded throughout South Africa in the coming years. The symposiums are CPD accredited.
The Nurses Leukaemia Training syposiums evolved from the realisation that there were very few trained Haematology nurses in South Africa and little was being done to attract them to this field. Further, in many of the rural areas that Igazi had visited with our GP symposiums, there were too few Health Professionals servicing large area meaning the first line of defence against blood diseases was ofter Nurses. Our nurses symposiums have been designed with these issues in mind to further encourage the spread of Haematology information and care throughout South Africa.
Physicians who regularly refer patients to Haematologists in South Africa became aware of our HDTO CPD education and began to request a stand alone series of symposiums with more in-depth information about Haematological diseases. This was to better understand and better assist with treatment when Haematologists were unavailable or the diseases in question were not as serious. In response to these requests and in conjunction with Haematologists, a new series of symposiums was devised called Physicians Haematology Lekgotla. Using local, and for the first time, international key opinion leaders in blood diseases to present, the IGAZI foundation hopes to lessen the load on the Haematologists in this country while ensuring quicker escalation for patients.