The Sidilega Private Hospital in Gaborone has a vision – to create a world-class, fully digitised radiology department that will empower more radiologists to grow their skill set while enabling Botswana to become a leading centre of excellence in the Southern Africa region.
The Sidilega Private Hospital in Gaborone, Botswana has a vision to create a world-class, fully digitised radiology department. This is already happening, thanks to Christina-Louise Isaacs, Head, Radiology Department, Sidilega Private Hospital, who not only set up the fully digitised department from scratch but fought long and hard to make sure Sidilega became the first hospital in Africa to purchase the GE OEC One CFD 31cm with vascular capability – the latest in GE’s (www.GEHealthcare.com) compact C-arm technology.
“We are very proud to bring this incredible technology to Botswana, and indeed, Africa. I can already see how much value it is adding to our radiographers and surgeons, who can now better meet our patients’ needs with greater ease and efficiency,” said Dr Motsholathebe Phuthego, Director, Sidilega Private Hospital.
“What I saw in this machine was every radiographer’s dream. The contrast and image quality are second to none and the design is so well thought out. From the layout to the small screen created just for the operator, the machine is so user-friendly and easy to access. It’s the first time I have seen a company both answer and truly cater to a radiographer’s every need,” said Isaacs.
Dr Phuthego agreed and said: “Thanks to the efficiency and mobility of the GE OEC One we can now have two or three theatres operating at the same time. We are able to increase our activity and we don’t have to cancel the long lists of patients in need of our orthopedic and cardiovascular expertise.”
The machine has another very important role to play at Sidilega, to be used for endovascular procedures.
Isaacs explained that: “We have a Cath lab and if that should go down and we need to have servicing done, the GE OEC One CFD is the machine we would use to stand in for that process.”
Procuring the OEC One CFD 31cm, with its low dose, high-image quality, and large flat panel detector, was a top priority for Isaacs. As a radiographer with 30 years of experience, she knows how important it is for radiographers to grow their skills in a fully digitised department with high spec machines and a broad spectrum of modalities. She knows because it’s the reason she had to leave Botswana for 13 years.
“I had to go abroad to become the radiographer I wanted to be,” she said, recalling the 13 years she spent in Ireland and the UK training on GE Healthcare systems and getting the skills she couldn’t get in Botswana.
Vital skills, like Cardiac MRI and Cardiac CT, which Isaacs brought into Botswana and now passes on to her team. In May 2021, one year after opening its doors, Sidilega hired its first permanent interventional radiologist – an area of radiology that the new OEC One CFD mobile C-arm with vascular software configuration will be able to offer.
The OEC One CFD is already a game changer for Sidilega. With such high image quality, catering for the needs of orthopedic, neurosurgery, endovascular surgery and even the ER, surgeons can now execute and deliver faster, which has resulted in quicker turnaround times for the hospital, and this is only the beginning. With more time and training, the OEC One CFD vascular capabilities will enable more vascular surgeries to take place at Sidilega.
According to Isaacs, it’s not uncommon for the orthopedic surgeons to double up and get through more caseloads, including government referrals, faster. Even the radiographers are more excited about going into surgery, now that they take up less room and offer more value in theatre, where both space and time is of a premium.
“I’m very proud that in bringing this revolutionary machine to Sidilega, we are not only putting this hospital and Botswana on the map as a centre of excellence but proving that we are also leaders and drivers of digital technology in healthcare,” said she said.
If there’s one thing that Sidilega and GE Healthcare share, it’s their unwavering commitment to bringing ‘world-class equipment’ to the people and places that need it most. That is why when Sidilega opened its doors in 2020, GE Healthcare was at hand to help the hospital fulfil its mandate to provide ‘Best-in-Class’ efficient and cost-effective healthcare services to the people of Botswana and it hasn’t stopped.
GE Healthcare looks forward to supporting Sidilega’s vision to build a consortium of leading hospitals across Southern Africa, one world-class GE equipment, technology and training at a time.Click below to share this article