Successful Obstetrics and Gynaecology Women’s Health Update 2023
UKZN’s Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G) hosted a stimulating 2023 Women’s Health Update where leading experts, novice researchers and active lobbyists of maternal, child and women’s health deliberated on an array of wins, challenges and associated cases faced by South African communities and the country’s healthcare system.
The two-day CPD-accredited event was held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital (IALCH) and at UKZN’s Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine where some of the delegates sharpened their skills at a fully-booked ultrasound workshop while others benefited from an also fully-booked gynaecology endoscopy workshop.
The ultrasound workshop was conducted by fetomaternal specialists who guided delegates around the intricacies of the basic foetal sonography, while the endoscopy workshop featured lectures on laparoscopic entry (encompassing its access techniques and safety tips), basic principles of electrosurgery, ergonomics in theatre, essentials of the stack, patient positioning and a dry laboratory exercise, thereby honing the delegates’ skills on the principles of precision, eye orientation, cystectomy and bowel dissection. It also included step-by-step video demonstrations that simulated near-live experiences.
Speaking at the endoscopy workshop, O&G Head, Professor Motshedisi Sebitloane, said, ‘Some operations do not need a major big opening into the abdomen. By use of minimally invasive cameras, we can look into and reach to treat the abdominal tissues.’
Various captains of industry delivered presentations on the second day of the update, which was held at the Gateway Hotel in Umhlanga. They covered topics ranging from Medicolegal Litigation Associated with Birth Trauma, Updated HIV Guidelines in Pregnancy, Informed Consent, and Patient Blood Management – all of which are critical for any healthcare professionals who treat patients in child, maternal and women’s health.
UKZN honorary lecturer and provincial O&G Head, Dr Neil Moran who presented new perspectives in postpartum haemorrhage, which is the medical term for heavy bleeding after the vaginal birth of a baby, said it was impressive to see such a great turnout of healthcare professionals who stayed the entire duration of the two-day update.
The O&G Discipline’s mission is to improve the health of women, from the cradle to the grave, through research, teaching and evidence-based practice of O&G.
Sebitloane said: ‘Women make up a large proportion of those who access healthcare, for themselves and their children. It is therefore important that we make their efforts worthwhile by giving them the best of what we know and can do. It is critical to continuously upskill the practitioners such as in endoscopy, which can be very challenging in untrained hands.
‘Because obstetric practice has become a highly litigated area, foetal ultrasound training is important for anyone rendering maternity care. The feedback from the whole weekend was very positive and we definitely need to arrange the hands-on workshops more frequently as you can only train a few at a time. The workshops are to augment the training received during registrar time.’
Words and Photographs: Lunga Memela