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Large Joints Feature

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Free Surgeries Honor Mandela Day

Biloine W. Young • Wed, June 28th, 2017

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Nelson Mandela International Day is coming up in less than a month. On Mandela’s birthday (July 18) people are urged to honor his legacy through volunteering or performing some sort of service for at least 67 minutes. The day celebrates Mandela’s belief that each individual has the power to transform the world.

The Western Cape Provincial Department of Health of South Africa is planning a series of free surgeries to celebrate the event. Western Cape medics will be performing either 67 joint replacements or cataract surgeries on the provinces destitute to observe the event.

Dr. Beth Engelbrecht, the head of the health department who is spearheading the project, said the department had so far raised about R750 000 (about $57,662 USD) to do these surgeries for qualifying people.

The department, various NGOs, doctors and nurses from both the public and private sectors not only donated money, but will, for the next month, offer their expertise and time for free to do the surgeries.

Eight hospitals across the Western Cape will participate in the hip and knee surgeries, while all the cataract surgeries will be done at Eerste River Hospital.

One of the private funders that has contributed to the project is the Mediclinic hospital group, which has donated R50000 ($3,844 USD) and has offered to perform additional cataract surgeries at Milnerton Mediclinic.

Organizations such as the Ackerman Foundation, Medmetrics, Smith & Nephew, The Cape Joint Trust, and the two joint sisters, Nicci and Ruth Annette, have also contributed.

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