Drain Paediatric Surgeons police officer delivers baby
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A group of paediatric surgeons launched a non-profit organisation to address the state care of babies and offer better services and facilities to parents.


Surgeons for Little Lives is a registered non-profit organisation, it makes sure that very sick children and their families receive quality and skilled surgical care.

The organisation is run by a group of paediatric surgeons and everyday people that are passionate about uplifting the lives of less fortunate children needing life-changing surgery. Their hope is to raise the level of care given to these sick children in state care. The organisation works in the paediatric surgery wards of state hospitals, in the greater-Gauteng area.

Professor Jerome Loveland is the head of the organisation as well as the head of paediatric surgery at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital (CHBAH), and The University of the Witwatersrand. He acknowledges that South African doctors are among the best in the world. However, these doctors face many circumstances beyond their control, so they can’t always provide the standard of care that they would like.

This is why state hospitals are so often criticised. They are underfunded, understaffed and have very limited resources. With factors like this, it makes it very hard for children to heal and recover properly. That is why the organisation was started, to tackle these issues and better the medical care in South African state hospitals.

The organisation is working to fund specific projects which will improve the care given to the children served by the Department of Paediatric Surgery in greater-Gauteng and its surrounding provinces.

The current, and most urgent, projects include:

  • A new paediatric surgical outpatient clinic, incorporating a parental sleepover facility.
  • A dedicated operating theatre for paediatric burns patients.
  • An outside playground for recovering paediatric surgery patients.
  • Providing recovering burns patients with Expression Art opportunities.
  • All of these projects are based at CHBAH.

To date, they have also funded the repairs to essential paediatric surgical equipment as well as providing other vital equipment to the paediatric surgical ward at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (CMJAH).

The organisation is also working to do the following, although, not as urgent as the above mentioned.

  • To improve the care, management, and treatment of paediatric surgical and paediatric burns patients.
  • To better support the caregivers and families of these patients.
  • To improve the facilities where medical care takes place, where the hospitals (CHBAH and CMJAH) are unable to do so themselves.
  • To contribute to and encourage high-quality research in the field of paediatric surgery that leads to improvement of paediatric surgical health care in the public sector.
  • To assist the state hospitals with their record keeping and procurement processes.
  • To purchase new capital equipment and some vital disposable items.
  • To assist with appropriate and effective service delivery and patient care.
  • To contribute to the development of paediatric surgery at the University of the Witwatersrand and the development of paediatric surgery training in Gauteng with respect to both local doctors and those from the rest of Africa.

The organisation could be the start of a whole new medical standard in South Africa. Not only do they raise funds for these projects, they also collect medical supplies, art supplies (new & used) and even pyjama’s for the children staying at the wards in both hospitals. They also hand out small gifts such as toys and teddies so the children have something to comfort them while in recovery.

You can get in touch with Surgeons for little lives on Tel: +27 11 933 9342 / 8138 or email: info@surgeonsforlittlelives.org for more information about getting involved.

Sources: LeadSA
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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